Fartlek Runs Explained

beginner running fartlek running Oct 30, 2023


✍️ Author: Lissy Duncan - Professional Athlete / Olympic Runner - Sponsored by lululemon


As a running coach, I highly recommend incorporating fartlek runs into your training routine. These "speed play" runs are a type of interval training that involve alternating periods of fast and slow running. This makes for a more dynamic and varied workout than traditional steady-state cardio, which can help improve your endurance, speed, and overall fitness. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your fartlek runs:

  1. Start slow: If you're new to fartlek runs, start with shorter periods of fast running and longer periods of slow running. This will help you to gradually build up your fitness and get used to the workout.

  2. Listen to your body: Fartlek runs should feel challenging, but not impossible. It's important to listen to your body and adjust the intensity and duration of your intervals as needed.

  3. Vary the terrain: Fartlek runs can be done anywhere, but varying the terrain can make the workout more interesting and challenging. Try running fast on hills and slow on flat sections or vice versa.

  4. Use landmarks: Instead of timing your intervals, use landmarks as markers. For example, run fast to the next street corner, then slow down until you reach the next stop sign.

  5. Incorporate strength training: Fartlek runs are a great way to improve cardiovascular fitness and endurance, but incorporating strength training into your routine can help to improve your overall fitness and reduce the risk of injury.

  6. Have fun: Fartlek runs are called "speed play" for a reason! Remember to enjoy yourself and have fun while you're running. This will make the workout more enjoyable and help to keep you motivated.

Incorporating fartlek runs into your training routine is a great way to mix things up and challenge yourself. As a coach, I highly recommend giving it a try, and following these tips to make the most of your fartlek runs.

As always you can get in touch with me here > if you have any questions about run performance or just want to connect with a coach.


Liss Duncan - @lissyduncs

Professional Athlete