SSG Ashley Anderson
For those who don’t know, Fartlek is Swedish for speed play. This form of running trains the body for endurance and speed. Unlike a typical interval training run, with the Fartlek you will continuously jog during recovery period. During this run your top speed may not match the interval pace, but your overall average heart rate should be higher because you are using jogging as a recovery.
Not only does Fartlek running improve your physical aspects of running but it also improves your mental strength and willpower. This is done by sustaining and repeating difficult or challenging efforts, even when you feel like stopping. We should all be able to relate to this. When we run our APFT we can psych ourselves out and quickly become overwhelmed. Well with this form of training we gain resilience and mental toughness out on the PT track. Remember the body can do much more than you think, most of the time it is our own thoughts that hold us back when it comes to how fast we really can go.
A few examples of different Fartlek runs are:
- Running 6-5-4-3-2 (minutes) with a 2 min recovery jog after each interval
- Running 1 min running 1 min jogging, 2 min running 2 min jogging, continue all the way to 5 min
- Use available landmarks as guides, sprint to a lamp post jog to the next and continue for your entire running time
- Same can be done on treadmills too!
Try some of these next time you head out for a run!