26 July 2010

That’s Right – I Said, “Fartlek!”

“Fartlek” is Swedish for “common sense.” Just kidding… that’s “ikea.” Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play,” and for your speed training, it’s just “ikea.”


Everyone (well, most people I know) would like to get their times down, which means getting speed up. It sounds simple, but from the average to the elite, people find it difficult to achieve their goals. And whether they blame on the weather, their shoes, or that slow-poke who should have been in a different starting corral, everyone is frustrated when they don’t run a race in the time they thought they could.

Fartleks are a great way to train your body to push into a faster pace. For all the Wikipedia info on Fartleks go here.

The basic idea: start with one minute at tempo pace two times during your run. The next week, try two minutes at tempo two times during your run. Depending on your goals and what distance you’re training for, you can determine how you step up your fartleks to achieve your goals.

For a more “freeform” fartlek workout, don’t measure your time or distance for the fartlek, rather go by “feel.” Just pick a time, any time during your run, and set yourself a goal: “I’m going to run at a faster pace until the stop sign.”

Easy enough. I expect everyone will be going much faster at their next run…

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