Fartlek Running
- what is it and how to fartlek run

Introduction to Fartlek Running:

If you want to become a faster runner, it's time to introduce fartlek running into your workouts.
Fartlek, a Swedish term meaning "speed play," is a versatile and effective training method that can help improve your speed, endurance, and overall performance. It also prevents boredom by changing the speed many times during a workout.
In this blog post, we will explore the concept of fartlek running and provide valuable insights on incorporating it into your training regimen.

Guy running fast

What is Fartlek Running?

Fartlek running is a type of interval training involving alternating fast and slow running periods. Unlike traditional interval training, which follows a structured and predetermined pattern, fartlek running is more flexible and spontaneous. It allows you to vary your pace and intensity, mimicking the demands of real-life running scenarios. This unpredictability challenges your body and mind, making fartlek an exciting and engaging training method.

Benefits of Fartlek Running:

  • Increased Speed and Endurance

    By incorporating faster bursts of running into your routine, your body adapts to higher speeds, leading to improved running performance.

  • Enhanced Aerobic and Anaerobic Fitness:

    Fartlek training pushes your cardiovascular system to work at different intensities, improving both aerobic and anaerobic capacity.

  • Mental Toughness

    Fartlek running helps build mental resilience and adaptability, as you must adjust your pace on the fly, simulating real-world race situations.

  • Variety and Enjoyment

    Fartlek training adds an element of excitement and variety to your workouts, making them more enjoyable and motivating.

How to Incorporate Fartlek Running:

  • Start with a Warm-up: Begin your fartlek session with a 10-minute jog to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for the upcoming workout.

  • Define Your Intervals: Decide on the duration and intensity of your fast intervals. For example, you can alternate between a moderate pace and a faster sprint for 1-2 minutes each.

  • Choose Your Terrain: Fartlek running can be performed on a track, road, or trail. Opt for a terrain that suits your preferences and provides enough space for varying your speed.

  • Embrace the Surprises: During your run, be open to spontaneous changes in pace. You can sprint to a certain landmark, run faster on uphill sections, or accelerate after specific time intervals.

  • Recover and Repeat: After each fast interval, allow yourself a recovery period by jogging at an easy pace. Repeat this cycle of fast and slow intervals for a desired duration or distance.

  • Cool Down: Finish your fartlek session with a 10-minute cooldown jog and perform light stretching exercises to aid muscle recovery.


Fartlek running offers a fun and challenging way to improve your running performance. With its flexibility and adaptability, it caters to runners of all levels, from beginners to seasoned athletes. Incorporating fartlek training into your routine not only enhances your speed and endurance but also adds excitement and variety to your workouts. So, lace up your running shoes, hit the road, and let the joy of fartlek running take your fitness journey to new heights!

Remember, consistency is key. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your fartlek sessions over time, and listen to your body to avoid overexertion. Enjoy the process, stay motivated, and watch as your running abilities soar with this dynamic training approach.