Fartlek is a Swedish word and roughly translated means ‘speed play’. Fartlek training involves varying the intensity or speed of your run to improve your fitness and endurance. Fartlek sessions are usually performed for a minimum of 45 minutes and intensity can vary from walking, right up to sprinting.

A fartlek run can be as simple as picking up the pace in between a stop sign, traffic light, etc. mixing up a variety of varied speeds and efforts levels. An interval workout is a short, repeated bout of hard effort followed by a recovery period of very easy running.


  • It’s a great test for strength and endurance
  • It improves speed and race tactics
  • It improves the mind over matter game
  • It improves your ability to put on a spurt in races and overtake a competitor when tired or knock seconds off your finish time
  • It is great for getting into the racing mindset as a fartlek session mimics the surges of speed you may put on in a race
  • Incorporating these surges of speed helps runners to gauge and learn how much they can push their body over shorter segments while at the same time keeping enough physical and mental energy in reserve to go the whole distance and complete a race
  • There is a lot of flexibility within the workout
  • A fartlek session can be completed alone or with another runner or in a group