When designing a successful fartlek training session, one must first keep in mind of the purpose behind it. Whether the goal is to increase endurance for a long distance race or to lose body fat, the session design will differ slightly. Here, I will discuss a fartlek training session targeting endurance improvement for an intermediate-level active person.
You can use this fartlek training session at face value, or as a reference to help you to achieve your more specific goals. The key to increasing aerobic endurance is to increase your VO2 Max (maximal oxygen uptake). A high VO2 Max is essential for attaining any significant success in endurance sports.
Training at moderate to high ventilatory threshold levels can successfully manifest this desired outcome. Furthermore, you are encouraged to manipulate this session to your individual needs and desired intensity level as needed.
Fartlek Training Session
- 1 minute steady pace* – 30 second sprint
- 1 minute steady pace – 90 second 80% VO2 max
- 1 minute steady pace – 2 minute 60% VO2 max
- 30 second steady pace – 30 second sprint
- 30 second steady pace – 90 second 80% VO2 max
- 30 second steady pace – 2 minute 60% VO2 max
- 15 second steady pace – 15 second sprint
- 15 second steady pace – 30 second 80% VO2 max
- 15 second steady pace – 1 minute 60% VO2 max
*Steady pace should be a comfortable resting pace. This can be a light jog or a brisk walk. This fartlek training session pyramids to ensure proper adaptation to each interval.
Your heart rate should increase rapidly within the first minute or so of this session. With that being said, this fartlek training session should last for around 15 minutes or so and can be repeated if you feel inclined enough to do so.
There are virtually an infinite amount of ways that you can customize and individualize a fartlek training session to suit your own needs. With this being said, feel free to mix things up and get creative with it! If you enjoy sprinting more, then sprint more. If you’d rather spend most of your time power walking, then power walk. Besides changing tempos, there’s no specific way to do a fartlek training session. The only thing you need to do is get out there and start running!
Fartlek training session conclusion…
This, along with virtually any other type of fartlek training session can be a huge help to athletes and exercisers at increasing endurance and overall athletic performance.
Designing your own session can be a fun venture and can be a way for you to exploit your weaknesses in order for you to overcome them. Don’t be afraid to get creative with it, especially with your progressions, which are very important for your improvement.
As your fartlek training session begins to get slightly easier and easier than it use to be, it may be time for a proper progression. Such a progression could be increasing the distance, time, or intensity of your fartlek training session for example. This should ensure that you continue to make progress and get closer to achieving your goals. All in all, an effective fartlek training session can indefinitely improve your endurance, thus improving your athletic performance.