Fartlek - more then just a fun word to say...

Arch799 Posts: 106 Member
edited September 2015 in Social Groups
Working towards my first full marathon this fall. Finished my hill training this week and next week I have a 10k fartlek run (for the next 4 weeks) on the training calander. While I get the gist of it, does anyone have a good site or youtube vids that they would recommend as some additional info?



  • jchite84
    jchite84 Posts: 467 Member
    Not sure what kind of additional info you are looking for. I usually go between telephone poles when I do them. I've also seen other plans that built up time and reduced intensity on the splits. For instance week 1 would be something like 30 seconds at 95-98% VO2 Max. Week 2 would be 60 seconds at 90-95% VO2 Max and so on. Each with 60-120 second rests in between. Like I said I usually do telephone poles - sprint 1, walk 1 and I keep it up for a mile or 2 in the middle of a middle distance run (10-15K).
  • 5512bf
    5512bf Posts: 389 Member
    I personally feel they are more beneficial for shorter races where you can push the pace from time to time to get out of congestion or pass someone on a narrow part of a course. With a marathon you probably do not want to surge too much early on when it's congested for fear of running your legs out from under you. I'm sure a simple google search would bring up more information that you could possible read in an afternoon on them. From everything i've read on them they are kinda a bridge the gap type adaptation from intervals & tempo runs. Personally I think if you hit your intervals, tempos & long run you should have your bases covered however.
  • snowflakesav
    snowflakesav Posts: 644 Member
    The Fartlek will help train systems that recruit faster twitch muscles to support slow twitch muscles during the late portion of a marathon. They help with form and overall strength. They also help train you to clear waste and increase lactic threshold... Help you run when you have waste built up in your muscles and feel like dog doo.
  • Curtruns
    Curtruns Posts: 510 Member
    I don't know of videos but I am sure a google search would produce something. As for me, I just add fartleks to the occasional easy run. To do this, I pick out two spots (typically intersections) and start my fartlek at one intersection and run to the next. When I want it more structured, I will run intervals on the track.
  • litsy3
    litsy3 Posts: 783 Member
    If the fartlek has just popped up in your training calendar after a block of hill training, it sounds like you're following a specific plan. Does it include any explanation of what you're supposed to do? As the answers above show, 'fartlek' means different things to different people, though what they all have in common is that the run incorporates changes of pace.

    My schedule has a fartlek every week, but it's typically a structured session of an hour's run with 40 minutes of longer and shorter efforts and recoveries built into it. So a bit less sprinty than lampposts, because the efforts might be anywhere between 1 and 5 minutes.
  • Arch799
    Arch799 Posts: 106 Member
    It's from the 'running rooms' program. It has a paragraph on it but talking to real ppl that have done it would fill in the gaps. So far everything that has been said here has not been a surprise which is good. Just have to figure how fast/far/number of times for the 10k. That was not mentioned in the book...
  • taeliesyn
    taeliesyn Posts: 1,116 Member
    For a true fartlek, whatever you feel like on the day. Don't think too much, go out and have some fun with some speed :D
  • CarsonRuns
    CarsonRuns Posts: 3,039 Member
    For your first marathon, you would get more benefit from just doing an easy run and tacking on 10 to 15 minutes to what the plan says.