Article How to Run a Fartlek Workout


Active Member
3 Jun 2011
A fartlek workout prepares a runner to handle the uneven paces of a race. In a race, runner usually runs fast, then slower, then fast again. This variation in your pace is do to the terrain, and the race itself. The best runners are the ones who can respond to mid-race surges even though they are in a lot of pain. Here are some pointers about how to use a fartlek to prepare you for great racing.

What is a Fartlek?

A Fartlek (swedish for “speed play”) is simply sprinting and jogging off and on during a run. For example, a normal fartlek workout be a 40-60 minute training run. However, instead of keeping the same pace through the whole workout you sprint, then jog, then sprint again whenever you feel like it. You can customize fartleks to how you feel. If you feel sluggish, limit the number of sprints you do, and take more time to recover. If you feel great, run the sprints hard, and sprint again maybe when you don’t feel totally recovered.

One good way to run this workout is to pick out objects ahead of you, like a telephone pole and sprint from that pole to the next and then jog. One reason that fartleks are so popular is that it is so flexible.

Before starting a fartlek, make sure that you warm up at least 10-15 minutes to ensure that your muscles are loose enough to handle the accelerations. Also, cool down 10-15 minutes after the workout. The fartlek can be a difficult workout, and if you don’t warm up and cool down, you could have some very sore muscles the next day. Starting to run fartleks can be tough on your body if it isn’t ready for the faster pace, and can lead to injuries such as achilles tendonitis, IT-Band soreness, and runner’s knee To help cut down on the risk of injuries, make sure that you are running in good running shoes and don’t have any signs of over-training. After the workout, it is also very important to refuel your body by drinking water and eating protein-rich foods to get the most benefit from fartleks and help your muscle recovery.

Structured Fartlek
Although the fartlek’s popularity is partly due to its flexibility, many coaches like to make the workout more structured and give it more of a track interval feel. For example, a structured fartlek might be: 10-15 minute warm up, 2 minutes hard, 2:30 easy, 3 minutes hard, 2:30 easy, 4 minutes hard, 2:30 easy, 4 minutes hard, 2:30 easy, 3 minutes hard, 2:30 easy, 2 minutes hard, 10-15 minutes cool down. This workout is stated easier by calling it a: 2, 3, 4, 4, 3, 2, with 2:30 rest. A structured fartlek is great because, since it is run on trails or roads, it gives you the benefits of track work while also providing you the chance to run hills.



New Member
21 Nov 2011
This sounds interesting. I do something like this with my daily hikes. I warm up for about 10 minutes, and then do five minutes of hard marching and 5 to 7 minutes of slow, steady walking. After 30 minutes of this I walk really slowly or take a short rest. I can go for hours this way and get a really thorough workout without running out of energy.


New Member
29 Nov 2011
This is incredible information. I have run something similar to this when training for the half marathon, but didn't know what it was called. It really helped to improve my overall time.


New Member
23 Jun 2013
Useful article mate,Thank you for sharing when it comes to workout is necessary for is to do the one which is actually correct for us and makes sense.
I mean suits the body because sometimes we do stuff which doesn't really suit us.