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Interval Training for Runners

Oops, I Fartleked!

This funny named interval workout can make you a faster runner.  Keep reading to learn how…

Fartlek

How to do speed work without a track

Add some excitement to your runs by throwing in a fartlek.  Fartlek means “speed play” in Swedish, and it is just that.  A fartlek is an interval run in which your work and rest periods aren’t necessarily predetermined.  To put it simply, you fun fast, then you run slow, then you repeat. Fartleks are great if you are looking to become a faster runner, or if you are just bored with your current running routine.

Types of Fartleks

Here are some of the speed play runs I like to throw into the mix

  1. Run to the music: While listening to your running playlist, run fast during the chorus, recover the non chorus (is that called the verse? I’m not up on my music terminology).  Switch and run fast during the verse and recover during the chorus.
  2. Landmarks: pick a landmark in the distance, a fire hydrant, the next light, and run fast to that landmark.  When you get there, slow down until you set your sights on the next landmark.  Repeat
  3. Interval landmarks: Find something that you see repeatedly on your running route. I like to use lamp posts or benches.  Run fast to the first bench, recover until the next bench, run fast again to the next bench…you get the idea.

The best part about the fartlek? You don’t need a track to do interval runs!

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