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Tenant Success StoriesWhat is Fartleks?

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What is Fartleks?

Fartleks Running Shop Smoothie Stop opened in April of 2022. Conveniently located in Wichita’s Delano district, Fartleks provides running shoes, clothes and accessories. They also have a smoothie shop, offering up made-to-order smoothies and the perfect place to gather prior to a riverside run or to relax after!

Store owner Andrew Schinstock opened the store after the pandemic and First Gear closed. Andrew always had a passion for running. He ran throughout middle school and high school, and his dream was to own this own business one day. He saw the opportunity to fill a need that wasn’t currently being served in the downtown area and that’s when he found the space available in Delano.

When it came time for naming his business, Andrew wanted to pick something that would be both memorable as well as something that runners would connect with. Fartleks might sound funny, but it’s actually a Swedish word for “speed play”.

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“Our definition would be ‘Non-stop running with spurts of speed.’

“Our definition would be ‘Non-stop running with spurts of speed.’ Webster’s dictionary defines it as ‘endurance training in which a runner alternates periods of sprinting with periods of jogging.’,” said Andrew.

Fartleks is also defined as a system of training for distance runners in which terrain and pace are continually varied to eliminate boredom and enhance psychological aspects of conditioning.

Bob Ale-Ebrahim, Marketing Director of Occidental Management, became familiar with the term back in high school. “My cross-country coach at East High, Steve Sell, taught us how to use the Fartlek style of running when we were training,” Bob explained. “Coach Sell went to East High in the 60’s and ran cross country with Jim Ryun, who went on to become an Olympic athlete and Kansas State Senator. Jim Ryun held the record at East High for the fastest indoor mile at 4 minutes and 7.2 seconds.”

Interestingly Wichita teenager Clay Shively, a junior at Trinity Academy, just broke Jim Ryun’s 58-year-old state record in the high school indoor mile with a time of 4 minutes, 4.95 seconds at a track meet on January 13, 2023. Not only did Shively comfortably edge Ryun’s 1965 record time of 4:07.20 by more than 2 seconds, but he also logged the fastest indoor mile time in the country for a high school runner this year.

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Fartleks sells a variety of running shoes and apparel.

Running shoe brands that he carries in the store include Brooks, Saucony, Xero, Asics, Altra, Flux, and Newton. Running apparel that he carries includes Lululemon, Oofus sandals, Garmin watches, Junk headbands, FlipBelt running belts, Chicknlegs running shorts, Smartwool and Feetures socks.

Andrew’s philosophy is to ask his customers what they’re looking for and help them find the right fit and style. He will perform a gait analysis watching his customer walk toward and away from him, observing the length of stride, arm movement, heel placement, and angle of the pelvis. He will take measurements for arch height and ankle muscle strength.

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Andrew is an active supporter of the running community.

One way he offers support is by sponsoring local runs, including the Exploration Parkrun. It’s a free weekly 5k walk/run organized by volunteers for the benefit of everyone. It is held at Exploration Place, 300 N. McLean Blvd, Wichita, KS every Saturday at 8 am.

Andrew said, “I plan to have a Fartleks’ managed run in the future. Our ultimate goal is to be your first choice and one-stop shop for anything you might need if you are a running enthusiast.”

When asked how his relationship has been with Occidental Management Andrew said, “They’ve been supportive from an entrepreneurial standpoint. Nick Flores is in here all the time and he checks in with me. He’s been great.”

Some new shoes or a delicious smoothie can be great motivators to start and keep the year going strong. You can visit Fartlek’s at 535 West Douglas in Wichita. They are open Monday through Friday from 10 am-7 pm, Saturday from 10 am-5 pm, and Sunday from 12-5 pm. To learn more, go to www.fartleksict.com.

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