Last Updated: August 27th, 2022

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate and an affiliate for some reputed brands, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost you. I may recieve a commission if you purchase something mentioned in this post. See more details here.

Yet again your that runner friend went gaga over the fartlek workout.

You thought it’s high time you will find out what it is and how it can benefit you.

Your performance is at a plateau for some time now and it will not harm to give it a try.

Thinking that you hoped on the internet…OMG! so much info and so much overwhelm.

Worry not…we got you covered.

Below you will get all the required information about the fartlek workout.

Also, you have 5 sample plans to choose from and get started right away.

Fartlek Workouts Header Image

Can Fartlek workout improve your running speed?

Yes, the Fartlek workout will improve your running speed. Fartlek is a Swedish term that means “speed play”. This training greatly improves your speed and endurance. Fartlek training incorporates running at a higher pace and then reducing the speed. Running at a higher pace improves your average running speed.

Let’s learn more about it.

What is Fartlek Workout?

The fartlek running workout is basically interval training that involves speed variations throughout your run.

Typically you start with an easy warm-up.

Once you are ready, you increase your speed considerably high.

Then again you decrease the speed to a moderate or comfortable pace for recovery.

This tunes your muscles to adapt to the speed variations quickly and helps you immensely in improving your average speed.

If you shorten your recovery period, this will help in building up your stamina.


How To Improve Running Stamina In Under 2 Weeks?

How To Increase Running Stamina When You Are Just A Beginner?

How To Increase Running Stamina By Food?

Is Fartlek Training the Same As Interval Training?

A general interval training can be any training with a mix of high and low-intensity workouts.

Whereas, the Fartlek training is restricted just to running.

Also, in most cases, interval training is structured and has a specific time or measured segments.

However, ideal Fartlek training is mostly unstructured.

You can run a fast segment or slow down to catch a breath as per your requirement.

If you are running on the street, you can select a lamp post or a car parked at a distance as a reference to speed up.

This makes your running fun and breaks the monotonous.


How to do Interval Training?

The 7 Best Running Interval Workouts For Speed and Endurance

15 Treadmill Interval Training Workouts: Running never felt so easy 

How many times a week should you do fartlek training?

Fartlek may sound fun to start with, but it is a really strenuous form of workout.

So, if you are just starting off, it is best to do one day in two weeks.

You can gradually take it to once a week.

In the best case also try to restrict two sessions in a week.

You can see a significant change in your performance even if you are doing it once a week consistently.

To add more variations to your running and make your performance better, you may also try to run negative splits.


What Is Running Negative Splits? How Will It Make You A Champion?

Fartlek workout can enhance your speed and endurance. Include these fartlek runs into your fartlek training and see the difference.

Fartlek workout can enhance your speed and endurance. Include these fartlek runs into your fartlek training and see the difference.

5 Fartlek Workouts For Improved Speed And Endurance

1. Beginner Fartlek Training on a Treadmill

The versatility of Fartlek is that it is not just restricted to the track.

You can try it on roads, tracks, hills, and even on the treadmill!

If you are a beginner, it is best to go easy on Fartlek running.

Also at the start go at a slower pace and increase as much as you want to challenge yourself.

Here is what you can do:

  1. Start with a warm-up of 10 min, slow to comfortable walk @ 2.5mph
  2. Run one mile @ 6mph
  3. Reduce the speed and recover by running @4.5mph.
  4. Again increase the speed and run for a while at @6.8 mph
  5. Recover by slowing down @5mph
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 a couple of times.
  7. Run 1 mile @ 6mph
  8. Cooldown walk for 5-10 min @ 2.5 mph

You can adjust the speed up to your potential.

Now can keep the duration of speed run as low as 30 sec but see that you run to give your best effort and run as fast as you can.

Or, you can make it more interesting if you have a TV screen on your treadmill.

So, tune yourself to speed run whenever there is a commercial break.

Give in your best to run through the commercials.

2. 40-min Fartlek Run

Mostly a Fartlek Run is an unstructured one but you can always time it to suit your training plan.

Here is a simple plan with varying speed intervals.

  1. Start with a 10 min warm-up, brisk walk, or jog @ Speed
  2. 2 min speed run @ 6 mph X 3 times
  3. 1 min recovery after each interval jog @ 3.5 mph
  4. 1 min speed run  @ 7 mph X 6 times
  5. 1 min recovery after each interval jog @ 3.5 mph
  6. 10 min cooldown

3. Fartlek for 800m

The 800m run is a relatively fast run.

Here is how you can do it.

  1. 10 min warm-up @ your moderate speed
  2. Run for 75 sec @ your max speed
  3. Jog/run for 150 sec @ your moderate speed
  4. Run for 60 sec @ your max speed
  5. Jog/run for 120 sec @ your moderate speed
  6. Repeat the steps 2-5 X 3 times
  7. 10 min cooldown

4. Ladder Fartlek Workout

This workout method is done in increasing intensity order.

However, the duration of the speed workout decreases with intensity.

  1.  Start with 10min jog @ easy pace
  2. Run for 5 min @ 70% heart-rate
  3. 2 min recovery at an easy pace
  4. Run for 4 min @ 75% heart-rate
  5. 2 min recovery at an easy pace
  6. Run for 3 min @ 80% heart-rate
  7. 2 min recovery at an easy pace
  8. Run for 2 min @ 85% heart-rate
  9. 2 min recovery at an easy pace
  10. Run for 1 min @ 90% heart-rate
  11. 2 min recovery at an easy pace
  12. The cooldown for 10 min @ comfortable pace

5. 30-min Fartlek Run

This is an alternate high and low-intensity run.

  1. Start with 8 min jog @ easy pace.
  2. Run for 1 min @ 7-8mph
  3. Run for 1 min @ 4-5 mph
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3, 6 times
  5. Cooldown with 8 min jog @easy pace
If you want to start some fartlek running, here are 5 easy plan to start your fartlek workout. These workouts will help you to improve your speed and endurance.

If you want to start some fartlek running, here are 5 easy plan to start your fartlek workout. These workouts will help you to improve your speed and endurance.

Some Related Information….

Fartlek Training Benefits

If you are wondering what is Fartlek training good for, then here are some of the benefits.

Improves running potential

In the fartlek run, your workout in the aerobic and anaerobic capacity of your body.

This greatly enhances the speed and endurance and thereby improves your running potential.

Trains for racing

In real-time racing, you have to deal with speed variations.

A Fartlek run prepares your body to adapt to quick changes in speed and hence better performance as a racer.

Burn more calories

When you perform fartlek training, you generally work out at a very high speed.

This leads to loads of calorie burn.

Your body continues to burn calories even after the workout.

This is called the after-burn.

Doesn’t it sound the perfect way to lose weight?

You get to decide the plan

The Fartlek run is generally the unstructured interval workout.

So, you get to decide the running plan.

You set your own targets, this does not make the workout scary.

And there is a sense of accomplishment once you achieve your goals.

You can even make the run interesting by setting the goals accordingly.

For example, let’s say you are running on the road.

You can start or end your speed interval by taking reference to the street light or maybe your favorite car.

You may plan to change your place after every 4th street light.

Madhusree Basu

Madhusree Basu

Author, Admin

Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.

More Reads…