Fartlek interval workout


Interval workouts is a training method that solicits a lot the heart, before you try, it is very strongly recommended to talk to your doctor and maybe schedule a visit to a cardiologist. Especially if you are over 40 years old.

Whether to lose weight, increase your capacities or improve your running capabilities, inverval training is indicated, but it's challenging and generates oxidative stress, to counter free radicals and discomfort that can create ischemia and reperfusion (digestive pain, diarrhea), it is essential to adapt your nutrition.

Headaches can happen sometimes during intense training and especially when it's hot and sunny within hours of the end of the session.

What is Fartlek ?

Fartlek is a kind of workout invented in Sweden by trainer Gösta Holmer in the 1930s. It means "speed game" and consists of an alternation of fast running and slow running.
In practice, the athlete decides the durations of effort and recovery and paces according to his desires and the course. For example, I run at a steady pace to the next tree, then I recover until the next turn.
The goal is to have the feeling, at the end of the session, of having done a stimulating but not exhausting training.

This type of training is more suitable for beginners compared to the classic interval training.


  • - Muscle strengthening thanks to the work on hilly terrain.
  • - Variation of the sessions.
  • - Flexibility depending on the form of the day.
  • - Proprioception work.
  • - Training taking care of physical feeling.


Obviously remember to warm up before and cool down afterwards.

If you are a beginner, limit yourself to efforts between 15 and 30 seconds with at least the same recovery time.

If you are using a heart rate monitor, note your heart rate at the end of the warm-up and after each effort at brisk pace, wait until your heart rate drops almost to that heart rate before starting again to run at brisk pace.
If you don't have a heart rate monitor, trust your feelings and don't start the brisk pace until it seems you have recovered.

When you'll be familiar with this type of workout, you can increase the time from 1 minute to 15 minutes.
The objective is to run faster during the effort part than on the recovery part while maintaining the same speed from the start to the end of the repetitions.

There is no obligation on the number of repetitions but at the beginning allow a time of 15 minutes during which you will make your pace variations. Little by little you will increase this time up to 30 minutes.

Try as much as possible during recovery phases to run slowly rather than walk. If it's really too hard for you at first, try alternating walking and running.

To go further

The fartlek can obviously be done on hilly or mountainous terrain, if you are a trail player this will make you progress.
Like the classic interval workout, it's important to vary. For this you can for example:

    - Run uphill and recover downhill.
    - Run uphill and recover uphill.
    - Run downhill and recover downhill.
    - Run downhill and recover uphill.
You understood this training gives free rein to your imagination.
Once you have progressed, the fartlek alone will not allow you to progress more, you will need to add or change the workouts with classic interval workout.

  • I don't say it will be easy, I says it will worth it.

  • If you want something you've never had, you'll have to do what you've never done before.

  • Your attitude matters more than your abilities. Zig Ziglar

  • Motivation is when dreams put on their work clothes. Benjamin Franklin

  • Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. Winston Churchill

  • I do it because I can. I can because I want it. I want it because I'm told that I can't.

  • If you're absent during my struggle, don't expect to be present during my success. Will Smith

  • Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get. W. P. Kinsella

  • Don't be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so. Belva Davis

  • Go to the end of things before giving up.

  • Not having tried is worse than failure.

  • Every expert was once a beginner.

  • If you don't succeed the first time, shake and try again. Aaliyah

  • Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. Henry Ford

  • Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. Henry Ford

  • Crying can give you sympathy, sweat will give you results. Laurent Vicente

  • Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. Henry Ford

  • Crying can give you sympathy, sweat will give you results. Laurent Vicente

  • Don't think limits. Usain Bolt

  • Running is the only medicine that my legs and my head, but also my heart and my soul, need. Laurent Vicente

  • A man who conquers himself is greater than one who conquers a thousand men in battle. Bouddha

  • If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon. Zatopek

  • Is defeated only whoever believes it. Fernando de Rojas

  • I never lose. I either win or learn. Nelson Mandela

  • I often hear someone say I'm not a real runner. We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I never met a fake runner. Bart Yasso

  • I had as many doubts as anyone else. Standing on the starting line, we're all cowards. Alberto Salazar

  • May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. Irish Blessing

  • Your legs are not giving out. Your head is giving out. Keep going. Jillian Michaels

  • No matter how fast you run, you'll always be faster than those who sit on their couch. Richard Paradis

  • Ask yourself: « Can I give more? ». The answer is usually: « Yes ». Paul Tergat

  • The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start. John Bingham

  • Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. Oscar Wilde

  • No one ever drowned in sweat.

  • Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness. Edward Stanley

  • Experience is a lantern that is worn on the back and that never shines the path. Confucius

  • It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. Lucius Annaeus Seneca

  • That little voice inside your head that says you can't do it, well... it's a liar!

  • Wake up with determination. Go to bed with satisfaction.

  • Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.

  • Each step count.

  • Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or your predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. William Faulkner

  • We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves...The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. Roger Bannister

  • You do not get to the summit by overtaking others, but by overtaking yourself.

  • Life's battles don't always go to the strongest or fastest man, but sooner or later the man who wins is the fellow who thinks he can. Steve Prefontaine

  • To win a race, the swiftness of a dart availeth not without a timely start. Jean de la Fontaine

  • If you feels good racing an ultramarathon, don't worry, it will pass... Guillaume Millet

  • Never allow your fear to grow larger than your faith. Jillian Michaels

  • Why choose to fail when success is an option? Jillian Michaels