Fartlekking for Beginners

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Feb 2012
7:19pm, 20 Feb 2012
271 posts
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Chris the Fish
Having never fartlekked before I was just wondering what the best way to go about it would be. I normally do a few 3m midweek runs and I'd like to turn one of them into a fartlek session.

Do I still aim to do the 3 miles?
Do I aim for a consistent speed throughout the high tempo sections for the whole distance?

They may seem simple enough but I didn't want to go out there and injure myself by going hell for leather for too long.

Any help or advice is greatly received.

Feb 2012
7:40pm, 20 Feb 2012
4,847 posts
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I'm no great expert, but I'd probably start off with half a mile of steady running to warm up, a couple of miles of fartlek, and a half mile steady run to warm down. Over time you can increase the fartlek bit in the middle, and maybe the warm up/down if you don't think it's enough. I use markers such as lamp-posts, trees, telegraph poles etc to do the efforts, the great thing about fartleks is you can be flexible and mix it up a bit each time you go out to make it more interesting. Yes, try and keep the same pace for each effort too, in all intervals you should pace it so the last effort is the same pace as the first. As with everything in this running game, start off slowly and work your way up over time, else you'll just get injured and probably not enjoy it!. :-)
Feb 2012
8:22pm, 20 Feb 2012
272 posts
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Chris the Fish
Cheers boingy, I guessed there were no hard and fast rules, however I dont want to find myself 2 miles from home and completely wasted!

Ill have a bash during the week and see how it goes, intervals in the pool have really helped my swimming speed so I hope doing the same with my running will help that too.

Feb 2012
9:19pm, 20 Feb 2012
889 posts
  • 0
Mr Alf Tupper
Dont make it too complicated!

Simply do as it says on the tin, "play with speed". you dont need to use a consistant speed or even distances. Try altering the lenght of effots from 15 second burts to 1/2 minutes etc. Or use landmarks till you cover the desired distanc (3 mile). Gradually you can do more structured sessions and your recovery periods can get shorter. - " go hard to next shop - recover to the play park for example. A classic one is lamposts. 1 lampost hard 1 easy, 2 hard, 1 easy 3 hard 4,5,6... etc. the recovery can be multiple lamposts too.

You can make these runs quite fun!

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Maintained by Chris the Fish
Having never fartlekked before I was just wondering what the best way to go about it would be. I nor...

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