What Is Fartlek Training?

EndurElite Chief Endurance Officer Matt Mosman explains what fartlek training is, how it can benefit running performance by improving VO2 max, lactate threshold, running economy, and fuel utilization.

What Does Fartlek Training Improve?

Ever wonder what Fartlek training is and how it can benefit your running performance?

  • FARTLEK….Funny word but very effective training method.
  • Fartlek means “speed play” in Swedish and involves easy running done at 70% VO2 max combined with hill work or short, fast bursts of running done at 85-95% VO2 max for short periods of time.
  • This form of training challenges all energy systems in the body and can improve VO2 Max, lactate threshold, running economy, and fuel utilization.
  • It can also help break up the boredom and monotony of slogging out miles during everyday training.
  • An example if a fartlek workout would be 60 seconds at an easy jog, followed by 60 seconds at lactate threshold pace, followed by 30 seconds at an easy jog, followed by 30 seconds at VO2 max, followed by 20 seconds at an easy jog, followed by a 10 second all-out sprint. Jog easy for 3 minutes and repeat this circuit 5 more times.

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