What is Fartlek training and how will it help you run faster?
Are you tired of shopping? Fartlek training is a fun way to change up your routine while developing your strength, endurance, and speed. plot? Here's everything you need to know about this fitness trend.
What exactly is fartlek training?
Fartlek training literally means "fast play" in Swedish, and it's a type of freestyle choppy race where you "play" at your speed. There's no actual structure, but it does involve mixing fast play with easy play (or with a moderate tempo).
How is it different from other training methods?
With fartlek training, you never stop, you just slow down. Unlike high-intensity interval training, which allows for a short period of complete rest, fartlek training is continuous. For example, you can run at a faster "comfortably hard" pace for one minute, then run for two minutes at a slower "easy" pace. Or you can run at a consistent, controllable pace for say one mile, and then pick up the pace the next day.
How can it help to run faster?
Although it can sometimes seem like a completely free exercise, there is a science behind it. If you take part in races longer than 5 km, you are basically doing aerobic exercise. So, by forcing your body to keep running (even if it's at an easier pace) without stopping, Fartlek can train your body to reuse lactate as a fuel source, dramatically improving performance.
What is the best way to progress with Fartlek Training?
Our ultimate fitness philosophy: progress while having fun. This is fartlek's main motto, but how your progress looks depends on your goal.
Do you want to run faster? Increase the "Recovery" playback speed, so that the "easy" periods are closer to the speed of the "difficult" sections.
Do you want to run longer? Reduce the time you spend on recovery periods.
Want to improve both? Combine the above two methods to increase speed and endurance.
Additional benefits of fartlek training?
Much ! First, it is for everyone. It's the perfect bridge to a more intense race for new runners who struggle with physical and psychological barriers (mind over matter and all that). But fartlek training is equally beneficial if you are an experienced runner looking to increase your speed and running abilities. For the latter, fartlek helps you achieve a racing mindset as it simulates the fastest speeds at different points in the race, from passing others to running over the finish line.
The beauty of fartlek training is its versatile flexibility. The session can be conducted on your own or with a personal trainer. It can be done at your own pace, at your own distance, and for your own duration. You can do this on the treadmill or outdoors (for the latter, it's always fun to focus on something and run towards it, before slowing down to the next object). And because this type of training is more accessible, it gives you the opportunity to learn more about your body (and how to push its limits) in a natural way. This also makes it the EVO method.