FARTLEK TRAINING (which means “speed play” in Swedish) is a continuous form of running defined as periods of fast running intermixed with periods of slower running. This is usually done over a predetermined time or distance. The focus is on not stopping and being able to change and sustain different paces. This type of training session is best done over cross-country, a football field or just rolling hills and can even be done on a track.
1. Doris Brown Heritage, an American runner who won the International Cross Country Games five times along with silver medals at the Pan American Games, trained in the 1960s. Her 20-minute session consisted of 40 to 200-yard sprints in 5-7 minute ‘perceived exertions’, interspaced with mile runs.
2. Gosta Holmer, the Swedish national coach in the 1920s got his athletes to complete as much as 3 Fartlek sessions each week. A typical session would include running for 7 miles continuously with effort distances lasting 40m to 2.4km.
3. Steve Moneghetti, one of Australia’s legendary runners in history ran the famous ‘Mona Fartlek’ devised by his coach Chris Wardlaw. It comprises of 20 minutes of fartlek with recovery time the same as hard efforts. Creighton found this workout to be extremely beneficial for his training as he would be able to push at a steady pace during recovery and float periods. Generally, as efforts become shorter, the intensity increases. The session includes: 2 x 90s with 90s float, 4 x 60s with 60s float, 4 x 30s with 30s float, 4 x 15s with 15s float
This is different to Fartlek training as you may stop and rest between intervals and with fartlek training you should not stop.
Here are some examples of interval sessions used by elite athletes.1. Craig Masback 6 x 300m followed by a 2min rest. They would then progress to 4 x 1100m with 800m between each set at an aerobic pace where they ran the last 300m at a hard pace. Including warm-up and cool-down they would run a total of 10miles during their session.
2. Arturo Barrios, 10 x 1000m on the track @ slightly faster than 5km race pace, with a slow jog recovery as rest.
3. Silvio Guerra, 8 x 1km with 2mins to 2:30mins recovery
4. Bill Dellinger, completed 3 miles of alternating 30s and 40s 200m runs with no recovery.
This has been re written but was originally on Sweat Elite
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