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Lockdown Efforts Wk 5 – Kevin’s ‘Use Your Surroundings’ Fartleks

February 1, 2021 – February 7, 2021 all-day

Efforts session for week commencing 1st February 2021.

What is a Fartlek?

The word “fartlek” is a Swedish term which means “speed play.” It is a training method that blends continuous (endurance) training with more traditional interval training.

A true Fartlek session is unstructured and ‘random’ in nature controlled by the individual runner based on feel.

Why Fartlek?

Unlike most long runs, which are completed at a single steady pace, or traditional run workouts, that typically target one or two paces, Fartlek runs challenge the body to adapt to various speeds which helps condition the body to become faster over longer distances.

More bang for your running buck:

Beyond the physical benefits, Fartlek training also trains the mind and strengthens your willpower by sustaining and repeating efforts when you feel like stopping.

We can all probably relate to a race situation when the mind can overwhelm us, questioning whether we can maintain the pace or respond to an opponent’s attack. The more training sessions we do that incorporate this speed variation, the more resistant we become to giving up mentally mid-race.

The body can usually go much longer and faster than the mind would have it believe it can.

Pre session:

Fartleks are the perfect session to complete solo as you can concentrate purely on your own effort.

Plan a route which will take around 30/40mins to complete.

When you are ready to go complete a few activation exercises followed by a steady warm up jog for 10mins prior to beginning your efforts.

The Main Session:

During the middle 10/20 mins of your run use your surroundings to measure your efforts:

  • Pick a landmark in the distance (this can be a lamppost, postbox, tree, building, etc) and run to it at a faster pace.
  • Once you have reached it return to your easy running pace for as long as you need to recover (just don’t fully stop).
  • A soon as you have recovered sufficiently find a new landmark and speed it up again.
  • Repeat throughout the 10/20min middle section.

Keep in mind that the session is unstructured so there are no rules. Mix your efforts distance and pace up, make some long, some short, some fast, some really fast and some steady.

Just remember to keep moving – your recovery should be your normal easy run pace…

Post session:

Once you’ve completed your 10/20min Fartlek session return home at an easy pace to cool down and complete your post run stretches…

I hope you enjoy. Let us know how you get on via WhatsApp or Facebook.