Most people have a tendency to fall into a comfort zone when it comes to running. Yes, you may run for 30-45 minutes without stopping, but are you getting any faster?

If you are a long-time runner, or even a beginner, and want to increase your speed or add a bit of variety to your training, then fartlek training is for you.

So, how does it work?

Fartlek running training requires you to work at a higher intensity over a given period of time. It normally requires you to perform at high intensity followed by a recovery period. 

For example, if you normally run continuously for 30 minutes, changing it to a fartlek session could look like this:

5-minute warm-up jog
3 x 3-minute fast runs
5-minute cool-down jog

Your fartlek session should generally take less time because it is higher in intensity.

You don’t need to do this type of training every session; if you run three times a week, add in one of these sessions each week. Your weekly running program should actually include one long moderate-intensity run and one shorter high-intensity run.

If your goal is running under a certain time for an upcoming event, start adding some fartlek and interval training into your running. If your running isn’t performance-based and you don’t keep time, this type of training will help you burn extra calories due to the higher intensity.

Exercise physiologist & adventure tour guide, Marc Stafford

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