Fartleks and Swimming in Rondeau Bay

Fartleks, according to Wikipedia, is Swedish for "speed play" and a "training method that blends continuous training with interval training.“  I guess I have been doing them right along and am just now putting a word with it.

First of all I hate the word “fart.”

A Victorian thinking mother raised me and that was one of the words we were never allowed to say.  Heaven forbid if we did pass gas loudly in public.  Every time someone talks about fartleks I think I will be embarrassed beyond words.  However Tuesday I did fartleks, 3 minutes fast pace and 3 minutes walk, with a 15-minute warm up and cool down.

Well if that wasn’t emotionally stressful, I am doing some creative adjustments to my swims this week and next.  I really need open water swim practice so have been swimming in the weedy Rondeau Bay behind our cottage.  The water is refreshing and crystal clear.  Not bad for a good swim.  However, there are lots of weeds and fish also in the water.  I know, it is home to the fish, and I really don’t mind the company.  It is the weeds that make me crazy.   The various boats that go by have cut some of them and they float in near shore.  On Monday, I was able to swim for a little over a mile in 45 minutes and not freak out.   This morning part of my brick workout was a swim for 30 minutes, so in I went again.  It gets a little better every time, but I still don’t like it, and doubt that I ever will.  I couldn’t wait to get out and run for 30 minutes.

Our vacation cottage is in a very small fishing village.  The year-round population is around 650 people.  In the summer the population grows to around 1,600.  Seeing a crazy woman running in a tri kit is a bit unusual for the conservative Canadians in the Village. They just look at me and shake their heads.

My workouts are starting to change with additional hours on the bike, more open water swimming, and lots more fartleks.

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Gini Fellows

About Gini


Gini Fellows, a registered nurse, teaches health and wellness at the Biloxi, Mississippi, campus of Tulane University.  She’ll turn 70 in August, and is training for her first full Ironman in Florida in November 2016.  Her coach is her son, Patrick, who’s a huge inspiration to Gini as he schedules her workouts and helps her sort through her doubts and fears.

Gini’s always been active but only began competing in triathlons in 2007, after knee surgery.  In 2013 she competed in her first Ironman 70.3 race, and surprisingly came in 3rd in her age group, qualifying for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship.  In preparation for that distance Gini competed in Ironman Texas 70.3 and came in 1st in her age group.

Last year Gini began thinking about attempting to complete a full Ironman.  After talking it over with Patrick, who is competing with her, she decided to register and commit to her training.

Gini says she began her journey to Ironman Florida this winter by building a base and now she’s beginning to add harder and more specific workouts.

Gini’s excited to be blogging about her training – in her words, “the good, the bad, the ugly!!”

Thank you for following!!

A note about Ironman triathlons.

The Ironman 70.3 refers to the total distance in miles covered in the event, which comprises a 1.2-mile swim, a 57-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run.

A full Ironman triathlon event comprises a 2.4-mile swim, a 114-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run.

Ironman also has other events, including events for children and for women only.  For additional information, see the Ironman website.