Fartlek Training

Fartlek Training

By on Apr 9, 2014 in Exercise | 0 comments

Fartlek Training Crossfit


For those who train CrossFit, variance is a key word in their training basis. Variance in terms of the exercises, time, conditions and type of training. Variance is, in fact, one of the key components for a successful workout.

Some of the WODs in High Intensity Training are quite long. To become better at them, I suggest doing a type of workout that not only is not boring, it actually produces all kinds of positive results. This type of training is called “Fartlek”.

The term “Fartlek” can be interpreted as “racing game”, and comes from the Swedish word “fartlöpning” (run) and “lek” (play) .

Fartlek is probably the oldest method of continuous training there is. It was created in the 30’s, by Gösta Holmer, in the Swedish city of Bossom.

Being highly effective, it is used by athletes in various sports. Fartlek is, essentially, a less structured type of interval training.

While the conventional interval training method entails running a certain distance in a certain period of time time, with specific rest pauses, Fartlek entails running for a predetermined time, like two minutes, on uneven ground, or wherever the run takes you.

Fartlek Training crossfit

The pace at which you run depends entirely on how intense you want the training session to be. The athlete determines all aspects of the training session, from how fast to how long or how intense it will be. Fartlek can be performed in all types of areas, including athletic fields.

Fartlek is, essentially, a training method in which you must change your running speed [effort] and, at the same time, enjoy your workout.

Conventional interval training is more disciplined, precise, and comes with training goals. Fartlek is not as demanding, and it can be adapted to the athlete’s needs.

In Fartlek, the athlete usually runs by himself, significantly varying the pace during the race. It is generally considered an advanced training method for experienced runners who have used interval training to develop speed and improve their anaerobic system.

However, less experienced athletes can also benefit from a simplified form of Fartlek training, since it will develop their performance and introduce variety to their training program.


Fartlek Training crossfit


Here are a few types of structured Fartlek training.

Watson Fartlek –  A good workout for 10 km, 5 km, 3 km, and cross-country.

  • 10 minute warm-up at a slow pace
  • quick run for 4 minutes with 1 minute interval – repeat 8 times
  • 10 minute slow jog to cool down

Saltin Fartlek – A good workout for 1500 mts, 5 km, 3 km.

  • 10 minute warm-up at a slow pace
  • quick run for 3 minutes with 1 minute interval – repeat 6 times
  • 10 minute slow jog to cool down

Astrand Fartlek – A good workout for 800 mts.

  • 10 minute warm-up at a slow pace
  • repeat 3 times – Maximum 75 seconds, 150 seconds at slow pace, maximum effort for 60 seconds, 120 seconds at slow pace
  • 10 minute slow jog to cool down

Gerschler Fartlek – A good workout to combine with continuous running.

  • 10 minute warm-up at a slow pace
  • repeat 3 times – Run fast for 30 seconds, 90 seconds interval. Repeat with 15 second shorter recovery time, like this: 30-90, 30-75, 30-60, 30-45, 30-30, 30-15 and 30-15-30
  • 10 minute slow jog to cool down

Pyramidal Fartlek – A good training for endurance

  • 10 minute warm-up at a slow pace
  • session pyramid 1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +4 +3 +2 +1
  • quick run for 1 minute with 1 minute interval, then, quick run for 2 minutes with 2 minute interval, and so forth
  • 10 minute slow jog to cool down

Fartlek is a good training method to be used as a part of your fitness plan, not necessarily to become the main method in your training, but something to jazz up your training routine.

It is also an excellent way to take your training outside and enjoy the great outdoors. However, this type of training can easily be adapted to be performed indoors, at any traditional box.


João LemosJoão Lemos

Lisbon – Portugal

CrossFit Level One Trainer

Trains @ Box CrossFit Lx – Affilliate Box in Massamá.

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *