Workouts

One-Hour Workout: Fartlek Pyramid

This tried and trusted fartlek pyramid workout will help bring some easy speed and put a spring in your step.

It’s simple and it’s a workout that runners the world over seem to love—the classic fartlek pyramid. This workout enables you to stay in control of intensity and pace, while also bringing some fun variety to help keep you fresh and motivated. If you’re feeling good, then you can really open up your engine on these efforts, but if you’re looking for more of a steady and controlled workout—well, that’s possible too. 

Start out with a smooth and relaxed 15-minute warm-up, building from an easy jog to a 6-7/10 RPE (rate of perceived exertion). Once you feel like you’re moving well, begin 5 x 20-30 seconds of pick-ups, just short accelerations where you build to a strong effort (9/10 RPE). Use these as opportunities to really warm yourself up—physically as well as mentally—for the main set ahead.

The main set is a fartlek pyramid where your efforts are matched with equal recoveries, as follows: one minute on, one minute off; two minutes on, two minutes off; three minutes on, three minutes off—and then work your way back down the pyramid, as three, two, one. The “on” efforts should be strong efforts (if you’re feeling good and fresh) at 8-9/10 RPE, while the “off” efforts can be easy, relaxed jog/running. Try to keep your effort and pace consistent throughout, avoiding going out too hard and then blowing up later in the set.

Wrap it all up with a 10-minute easy cool-down, bringing your heart rate and breathing rate back down.

One-Hour Workout: Fartlek Pyramid

Warm-up:

15 min. relaxed running building to 6-7/10 RPE

5 x 20-30 sec. pick-ups/accelerations to 9/10 RPE with 30 sec. recovery after each

Main Set:

1 min. on 8-9/10 RPE
1 min. off 4-5/10 RPE
2 min. on 8-9/10 RPE
2 min. off 4-5/10 RPE
3 min. on 8-9/10 RPE
3 min. off 4-5/10 RPE
2 min. on 8-9/10 RPE
2 min. off 4-5/10 RPE
1 min. on 8-9/10 RPE
1 min. off 4-5/10 RPE

Cool-Down

5-10 min. relaxed easy running