Once upon a time, I was a runner. That was before I developed a knee and hip problem. In those days, I would “parklet”, a term I coined to describe my training method. It was a variation of “fartlek”, the Swedish method that blends continuous training with short intervals for a period of approximately 45 minutes. I would sprint from park to park and, at each park, stop briefly to complete strengthening and stretching exercises.
These days, I do not run. I bike. And, when the weather warms, I begin to “parklet”. After work, I do laps around Stanley Park. Each lap is approximately 10 km, depending on the route – the Seawall is flat and sometimes slow and the road has a 1 km climb and a 2 km fast descent. After each lap, I stop at Third Beach to stretch and strengthen on the grass overlooking English Bay before doing another lap. Each lap and exercise set takes approximately 45 minutes and I complete 3-5 laps before heading home or, more likely, to a local cafe for a black coffee.
I like to “parklet”. I can vary the workout intensity simply by the number of laps I do, the speed for each lap and route selected. On good days, I complete 5 laps, each averaging 20-25 minutes depending on the route, plus a 15 minute exercise set. 175 minutes. 3 hours. A good workout on some of the most scenic roads. Today, I only did 3 laps at a 30 minute pace. 135 minutes. 2 1/4 hours. And then a 30 minute climb to the house. I have a long ride planned for tomorrow and didn’t want to over do it.
This is one of my favourite workouts.