Home Fitness guide Fartlek Training Guide – What It Is, Benefits, How To Do It

Fartlek Training Guide – What It Is, Benefits, How To Do It


This fartlek training guide (yes you heard that right) might be just what you need to transform what look like chains on your sneakers in small wings.

So long ago manageable mileage has become difficult even when you are properly powered, hydrated and rested, you might experience a kind of “runner exhaustion” and need to change your training, says Bethany Welch, RRCA certified running trainer and co-founder of House sweat. This is where fartlek training can come in handy, she says. “This form of training can be a fun way to increase endurance, as well as improve speed through non-specific intervals,” she explains. “Basically, the runner varies their speed from slow to fast during the duration of a workout in an unstructured way.”

Fartlek, which translates directly into Swedish as “speed game”, is the brainchild of a Swedish running trainer. Gösta Holmer, who developed the coaching style as a way to reinvigorate his team. He instructed his runners to vary speeds throughout their training at a faster pace than running.

And according to Welch, Holmér’s Original Method is a very effective tool in keeping you energized (and entertained) throughout a run. Let’s get into it.

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How Fartlek Races Work

Although fartlek training seems complicated, according to Welch, it is actually a fairly straightforward concept: with the help of markers (for example, a letterbox or a tree), the runner decides the distance and the distance. the speed of the interval. “You can speed between mailboxes and then slow down as you approach a house,” Welch explains. “Maybe after you get to your next house, you speed up double to the next telephone pole, and so on. “

“You can also do these types of errands over time,” she says. “For example, maybe you run 30 seconds at a difficult pace, followed by 30 seconds of easy.” But with the use of time comes a caveat: “The key is this is an unstructured race,” Welch reiterates. What it means: Don’t feel the need to stick to set intervals. Try to move and act impulsively.

The advantages of Fartlek training

The main benefit you get from fartlek training is surprise, creativity, and fun – and ultimately a revitalization of your regular running routine (this will make you stronger in the end). And TBH, how many times will a workout ask you to move this freely?!

While fartlek races are not technically Interval races (interval races are based on a specific timed structure), the physical benefits of both are quite similar: improved oxygen absorption capacities (translation: you are able to deliver oxygen to your muscles faster, which means you can run faster for longer), a decreased heart rate while resting, and better overall endurance.

Another major benefit associated with fartlek training? Shopping can be done roughly all over.

What does a Fartlek race look like?

Below Welch has provided an example of a fartlek race for you to try. Aim for 10 minutes dynamic warm-up Before you start your run, incorporate movements such as bodyweight lunges, squats, knee lifts, planks, and show jumps.


● Start with an easy 10 minute warm-up run (you should be able to carry on a conversation).

● For actual intervals, try to decide on the “structure” at the time: pick a cue point in front of you and run over it. Once you’ve hit the benchmark, move on to a recovery jog (that easy conversational pace) for as long as you need to. Once you feel recovered, pick a new landmark and sprint towards it.

● Repeat the benchmark intervals until you reach the time or mileage goal you have (15 minutes is a good goal).

● End with a 10-minute cool-down (you should be able to carry on a conversation).

Ready to start? Keep in mind Welch’s final stimulation tip: “Stepping away from a perceived exertion scale can be beneficial for everyone,” she says. “When heading towards a fast speed, aim for a seven out of 10. With an easy pace, try a four or five out of 10.”

That being said, Welch says it’s important not to “go all out” too quickly on difficult intervals, which can lead to injury. “Don’t overdo it, too quickly,” she repeats. Have a good (free) race!

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