Fartlek is a popular style of running that has been used by runners all over the world for decades. It is even more basic than many other training methods, but fartlek offers numerous benefits to increase your fitness level and bring you closer to your goals.
You can learn more about fartlek here in this guide to everything fartlek.
What Is Fartlek?
Fartlek is a Swedish word that means “speed play.” It is a form of interval training where you alternate running at different speeds throughout the workout session. You can vary your speed during fartlek sessions by sprinting faster or slower, taking shorter or longer recovery periods, or simply by changing the terrain you’re running on.
There are many ways to perform fartlek training. You can follow a specific fartlek plan that mixes high-intensity and low-intensity sets or, for more variety, randomly change speeds during your fartlek workout. Regardless of how you run, it is one of the most popular ways to train because it’s a fun way to improve your speed, stamina and overall fitness.
What Are Fartlek Training Benefits?
There are numerous benefits from fartlek that make it beneficial to different types of runners. Let’s take a look at these fartlek pros now:
· Improve running speed and endurance
· Improve running form (running stride)
· Burn lots of calories in less time
· More fun than regular interval training sessions
· Less stressful on your body than longer or continuous runs
What Fartlek Plan Should I Follow?
When it comes to fartlek, you can either follow a fartlek training plan or adopt your own fartlek strategy. Let’s take a look at two fartlek options that give you different results:
The Traditional Fartlek Training Schedule
This is one of the most common fartlek plans used by runners to mix up their workouts for better results. According to this fartlek schedule, you will run fartlek every third day of the week. For example, you might perform fartlek on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Your fartlek sessions should take about 20 to 25 minutes depending on your fitness level. Here are the details of how it should be done:
· Warm up for about 10 minutes
· Do fartlek by running fast for one minute and then recovering for two to three minutes. Keep alternating between the “on” and “off” periods throughout your fartlek session. You should do a total of six to eight sets during your fartlek training.
· Cool down for about 10 minutes after your fartlek workout. This is also the best time to stretch any muscles that were worked on during fartlek. You should always do some stretching after running or any other kind of exercise to increase flexibility and improve performance.
This fartlek method mixes up your fartlek training and makes it even more fun. Here, you will randomly change speeds during the fartlek session to make things more interesting. For example, if you’re following this fartlek plan you might sprint faster for two minutes and then run at a slower pace or walk for one minute in order to recover.