15 KM to 20 KM – Week 05 – Lesson 13


When you are an experienced runner you know the joy of seeing yourself progress and you like to play around a bit more with new kind of training methods, looking to keep the sessions fresh. The ‘Fartlek’ method, named after a Swedish game, is a way to add some playful styles into the run. In conclusion, it means that you experiment a bit with the interval times, leaving the strict rules for a more playful scenario. You won’t be running with your eye on the time, but on what you can see in the distance. You pick something you see and that will be your marker, the point where you run to and then walk to take some rest. You are going to make some errors in judgment when it comes to judgment when you start, but that’s fine. You’ll get better at it pretty soon. Don’t want to only target buildings, choose a person in the distance and make it your goal to pass them. When running at an event you can also use this with your fellow runners, but then there is the risk you are both doing so and you might accidentally start a race.

The Fartlek training is centered towards power, stamina and stress-free running. Away are the timed steps and instead, it’s more of a freeflow model. You will need to get used to this and only start when you have the experience to calculate when things might go too far. If you succeed it will help you to give that bit extra at an event like a marathon and it will strengthen your body next to increase the blood flow.

Tips for Fartlek training:

  • A Fartlek can be a group run activity, it’s fun to make it a game with several runners.
  • Use a heart rate monitor and track yours during different stages of the run.
  • You can do a Fartlek on a treadmill, but instead of building or people play with the speed and elevation levels.
  • Fartlek can be mixed with the interval pyramid training.

Other interval workouts

Fartlek training isn’t the only interval training a runner should know. Read more about other interval workouts.

Written by Run Trainer.

Mobile Product Manager by day, runner by night. Robin is one of the founders of the Run Trainer app and started running back in 2012. With a mix of his personal running experience and as a proffesional mobile app manager he tries to thrive the best UX and innovation to Run Trainer.