Workouts

Challenge Run Workout #3: Fartlek Run (1:30 on/1:30 off)

Ever tried a fartlek? There's no time like the present.

This week’s workout comes once again from Olympian, former collegiate runner, and elite-level coach Ryan Bolton. The workout below is a variation on the same workouts that can be found in his new book, The Triathlete Guide to Sprint and Olympic Triathlon Racing. For more sessions like this, along with full 16-week short-course training plans from beginner to elite, check out his book, available now from VeloPress.

This week’s workout is a shorter, quicker, but less structured, session, when compared to last week’s interval run. This constant change of pace from fast to moderate is a good way to work on maintaining pressure, effort, and form as fatigue slowly starts to build—ideal for what you’ll experience in the 10K time trial at the end of the month. If you’re able to push yourself to keep a solid pace through the “offs,” it’ll add a valuable tool to your toolbelt when it comes time to run hard for 30+ minutes by yourself during the 10K.

To get the most out of this workout, be sure to keep the “offs” at the prescribed pace—don’t run too slowly to allow yourself to fully recover for the next “on.”

Fartlek Run

Beginner

Warm-Up

20 minutes easy

Main Set

8 x
(1:30 “on” at 15 seconds per mile faster than projected 10K pace
1:30 “off” at a moderate pace, 1:00 per mile slower than projected 10K pace)

Cool-Down:

10 minutes easy

Advanced

Warm-Up

20 minutes easy

Main Set

12 x
(1:30 “on” at 15 seconds per mile faster than projected 10K pace
1:30 “off” at a moderate pace, 1:00 per mile slower than projected 10K pace)

Cool-Down

5 minutes easy