fartlek training method

Fartlek Training Method Techniques and Tips

Fartlek Training Method Techniques and Tips…

A fartlek training method is a highly effective training technique that can greatly help you to achieve your athletic and fitness goals. The term “fartlek” is Swedish for “speed play”. And by speed play, this means an alteration in the acceleration or velocity of one’s effort throughout a given distance or time frame. In other words, it is the manipulation of changing speed or intensity to accomplish a goal.

Virtually anyone can benefit from a fartlek training method as it is a highly effective method for maintaining efforts below and above the first and second ventilatory thresholds (VT1 & VT2). With this being said, it can successfully be utilized by athletes of all skill levels in specific relation to their goals. This is the true beauty of a fartlek training method.




Fartlek Training Method Variations

Here, I will briefly discuss some common fartlek training method variations:

Music Version- In this type of fartlek training method, the runner is intended on maintaining the tempo of the song he or she is playing. For example, if the verses of the song happen to be slow in tempo, this would cause for brisk walking or jogging. Then, if the chorus of the song picks up in tempo to a much more rapid pace, this would then cause for sprinting. This is a fantastic strategy to use and can also help to make training more enjoyable.

Mailbox Version- The runner is intended to sprint the distance for a selected number of hypothetical or literal mailbox to mailbox lengths. Then, rest for another allotted amount of mailboxes. For example, the runner can sprint for 4 mail box lengths and rest (walk) for 2. This is a great fartlek training method and can quickly raise your heart rate.

Three Speeds Version- This version incorporates the alteration of 3 different speeds during one single training session over a given amount of time. For example, you can start off by jogging for 60 seconds, running for 30 seconds, and then sprinting for 15 seconds. This technique can be repeated a desired number of times, or you can allot yourself a brief moment of time to rest in between each exertion. This may be the most popular fartlek training method to use by far.

Dog Park Version- This is a fun fartlek training method version to do as it can also help to protect you from that angry looking dog around the block that always enjoys chasing you. This version simply implies that as you approach a dog, in say a park or in your neighborhood, you would then proceed to speed up until you passed it. Then, after you have passed up the dog, you can slow down to a more comfortable pace.

fartlek training methods

Fartlek training methods

Fartlek Training Method Progressions

With all effective and productive training modalities, the implementation of proper progressions are essential to increasing aerobic success. Such training progressions can be slightly increasing the amount of time or distance of the running or sprinting portion by 2 or 5 seconds each workout. Or perhaps, to slightly increase the distance of the sprinting portion to a few yards each workout.

Don’t be afraid to mix things up and get creative with your fartlek training method workouts.

Progressions are extremely important in any craft with regards to achievement, especially with athletics. Slight, yet highly effective progressions can mean the difference between success and failure. Thus, incorporating progression techniques can help you to increase your VO2 Max and decrease your RHR (resting heart rate). Furthermore, a fartlek training method can be very versatile and can be manipulated in countless ways to help you to achieve your goals.




It’s no secret of the diversity and effectiveness of a fartlek training method. It’s a great way to lose weight, improve aerobic capacity, and to prevent boredom from your normal exercise routine! The structural flexibility that this running technique offers is what makes it such an attractive mode of exercise.

A fartlek training method can be implemented and manipulated in as many ways as your imagination can conceive. It’s also a great way for beginners to slowly able themselves to withstand the increasing demands of aerobic exercise.
In addition, top level athletes can benefit from it as well, as they can use it as a catalyst to improve their second ventilatory threshold (VT2) capacity.

Also, an intelligently designed fartlek training method program can be that missing link in your exercise program that can help push you over the hump to reap a glorious harvest of increased endurance, respiratory capacity, energy, and caloric expenditure among many other benefits.

The fartlek training technique can be seen implemented by top athletes and beginner exercisers alike. With that being said, an individual fartlek training session should be interfaced with the specific needs and goals of the athlete in mind. This will produce significant improvements in performance and will also allow for the appropriate implementation of progressions, which are detrimental to athletic success.




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