It’s as fun to run as it is to say. This workout is all about having a good time. There are not too many rules you have to apply to it other than spontaneity.
Fartlek, which means “speed play” in Swedish, is a style of training that blends continuous running with intervals. The workout can be done by utilizing landmarks as points for starting and stopping your speed burst. You can also use a watch for measurement in order to accelerate your pace for a given amount of time within your workout. For example, you might do a speed interval for one, two, or three minutes, rest for two minutes, then start your next surge. The continuous nature of this workout stresses both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.
When I lead these workouts, I tend to opt for measuring by time.To mix it up even further, it is fun to rotate the leader who sets the pace. So if I led the first surge, the next person would lead the next, and so on and so forth. No one but the leader knows how long the surge will last. This keeps everyone on their toes ready to react to the launch. It’s a great way to keep everyone involved in the workout.
When running a fartlek solo, it is often easier to use landmarks. That way you don’t need to look down at your watch wondering when your 60 second or 2 minute surge is over. Things like telephone poles or trees make good, obvious landmarks.
Typical fartklek workouts should last between 40 and 60 minutes, not including a proper warm up and cool down.
Enjoy. These workouts are fun and prepare you for the uneven paces that often occur in trail racing.