Monday, December 7, 2009

Did You Just Fartlek?

Can I say that? Yes, I can because it's referring to a Swedish word meaning"speed play" that was developed by famed Coach Gosta Holmer in the 1930's.  In essence, a fartlek session is where you run at alternating speeds throughout your run (e.g. slow and fast.)

In spite of it's funny connotations, fartleks are a actually a great workout tool because the change in speed and in your body's heart rate is a better metabolism-booster than a similar distance run at the same speed.

Remember when I mentioned run-walking?  This is kinda like the next step up from that.  It's also a great way to maximize a workout when time is limited.  For example, a 20 minute run with 5 quick bursts at about 30 second each would be considered a fartlek run and make for a better quality run than just running straight for 20 minutes.

I try to do at least 3 fartlek workouts a month when I'm training for a marathon and I think they are a key part of any distance-runner's regimen.

Anyone ever heard of this training method before? If you give it a try, let me know how it goes!


  1. Hahaha, love the title of this post! I did these in high school for soccer and track and hated them! That may be because we did them until we about puked in track and it ruined it for me. :) They definitely work!

  2. I do fartleks when I'm bored, they really keep me engaged and present in the run!