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Fartlek is a Swedish word used to describe a particular type of training. It actually means “speed play” and that is what a session is all about.

If you want to try it then it goes as follows:

Have a warm up jog for 5-10 minutes.
Then spot a tree on the route and decide to run hard to get there
Slow to a jog for a while and then pick out another landmark – a park bench, a lamp post or a road junction and run hard to it.

Continue in this way for the session, taking care to end with a jog.

The distances will vary, both for the jogs and the speedy parts of the run. With true fartlek nothing is timed or measured.

A fartlek session will often work better when done with at least one other runner alongside. In this case each runner takes a turn at choosing the next landmark to aim for.

A fartlek session cannot be a formal session. It should always be fun. You should never know in advance exactly how it is going to work out.

Remember: fartlek means playing with speed.

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