Are you training for a marathon but getting tired of the same old routine? Why not give Fartlek Training a try.
WHAT IS FARTLEK TRAINING?
Fartlek Training is all about speed. Not how fast you can run, but how you vary it during your session.
The word Fartlek is derived from the Swedish phrase for ‘Speed Play’, which is exactly what you do during the session. You play with your speed.
Rather than running a set distance for a set time, you run at different speeds for different distances until you feel you have completed a workout.
WHY COULD IT BENEFIT YOU?
Fartlek Training is a very diverse and flexible training style. You can easily adapt your session to meet your objectives for the session. If you feel you need an extra recovery session, extend the long periods of jogging. If you want to challenge your sprint endurance, include longer distance sprints so you can sustain your top speed for longer. The possibilities are endless.
This style of training is also a great test of speed and endurance. It’s all to do with your body and how it is feeling. Only your body can tell you when to rest. You may be able push yourself further than you thought! Perhaps you might want to increase the difficulty of your long, steady run?
It is also great for improving your running speed and race tactics. If you feel you could improve on that sprint finish, Fartlek Training can help! Challenging your muscles to move at speed when energy levels are depleted is an essential component in improving your race finish. In addition, by training at various speeds, you will be able to adapt to different race situations, making you a better all-round runner.
WHICH SOCKS SHOULD YOU WEAR?
We wouldn’t be doing our jobs as sports socks specialists if we didn’t point you in the right direction for the best socks! As you may know, our SockMine Marathon Runners’ Pack has been designed to encompass all styles of training. Fartlek training is no exception.
As it is such an adverse training style that can be adapted to both low and high intensity, you’ll need a good all round pair of socks that will perform well at any distance and intensity. The Griplock™ Anklet can do just that!
Our Griplock™ Anklet contours to the foot to reduce the friction against your skin. This helps to prevent blisters and soreness as your feet will be challenged at various intensities during the Fartlek session. By protecting your feet, you are free to focus on the getting the most out of your session.
AN EXAMPLE FARTLEK SESSION
This is a brief outline of what a Fartlek training session should look like. You don’t have to stick to this exact example, it is just a rough guide to get your started.
Begin by jogging at a gentle pace for between five to ten minutes. This is to warm up the muscles but also to allow you to gauge the running conditions. From this, you should be able to work out what type of Fartlek session you will be undertaking, how hard you intend to push yourself and what exercise you plan to do next.
Choose a specific landmark to run towards and the speed you intend to run at. An example of this could be to sprint to the top of the hill at 80% off your top sprint speed, it really could be anything.
The one limit is to make sure it is realistic. There is little to be gained from planning to run at 95% off your max for 2 miles. It simply wouldn’t happen.
Just make sure that the exercise is comfortable and yet demanding enough to cause improvements.
Once you have completed this change in speed, return to the original jogging pace you were running at. You can now run at this pace until you feel comfortable to increase the speed again.
Once you feel ready, choose another landmark and running pace. Ensure this is different to the first variation you ran at to maximise the effectiveness of your Fartlek Training.
Keep repeating these various training intensities with a gentle jogging in-between until you feel a thorough work-out has been complete.
Don’t forget to cool down! Gently jog for 5 minutes and stretch off to shift the lactic acid from your muscles and reduce soreness after the session. This will make sure you’re fit and ready for your next training session.
DOWNLOAD THE SOCKMINE MARATHON TRAINING PLAN
If you like the sound of Fartlek Training but don’t know how to work it into your training week, download our free Marathon Training Plan.
This has been designed for beginners, training for their first marathon. If you’re a little more experienced we recommend beginning the plan a little later, between week four and week six. What have you got to lose? It’s free!
Click here to Download your free Marathon Training Plan.