Posted on: 08 Jan 2008

Simon G asked me about Fartlek and, having read the comments on his post, I thought I'd post my answer. It's question with loads of answers, it can be as structured or unstructured as you want it.

Fartlerk is a Swedish word for speed play and that's exactly what you do 'play with speed'. For example you could start with 10 minutes warm up then try alternating 5 minutes hard 5 minutes easy before warming down. The more structured you have it the more like an interval session it becomes so you should vary it as you feel suits you.

Such as if you have access to a park or woodland you could check out a circular route and run hard and slow around different stretches of it - hard up hills then recover before sprinting between trees or jogging to recover before going hard again on a downhill.

If you're training on roads it can be as simple as sprinting between lamp posts then jogging to recover. Always give yourself time to warm up and down around the session.

Hope that helps if anyone has any questions let me know and I'll try to answer them - anyone else got any thoughts on fartlek? It's not something I consciously use but on some runs I put in surges or attack hills or run fast downhill depending on how I feel with recovery in between

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