Make Fartleks Fun with the 1-1-1 Run
Try this fun take on a fartlek ideal for runners training for a 5k.
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Ready, set, fartlek workout!
This is a fun take on a fartlek workout for runners training for a 5k. You can also modify it for longer races by adjusting the duration of each interval and pace that you run.
Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play.” Fartlek workouts involve incorporating bursts of faster running in the middle of your run, without stopping or resting in between intervals.
In other words, you will shift from a standard training pace to a race pace or threshold effort, depending on the goals of the goals for a given length of time or distance, and then shift back down to your training pace (or slightly slower). This is repeated throughout the workout for as many intervals as you have slated for the run.
Fartlek workouts are great for building physical and mental stamina to handle faster paces for longer distances. They will also train your body to shift into a faster gear even when you are tired, which just might be the edge you need to finish your next 5k with a big PR.
Note: Some fartlek runs vary the length of each interval, but this particular workout keeps the intervals at three minutes. See more tips for this workout below.
1-1-1 Fartletk Workout
Here’s what you will do:
Warm up by running 1-2 miles easy, building up to your standard training pace.
Then, do 3-6 rounds of the following:
- 1 minute at 10k pace
- 1 minute at 5k pace
- 1 minute at mile pace
Finish the fartlek workout with a 1 mile cooldown, and don’t forget to stretch.
- Keep cycling through, shifting gears at each minute mark without stopping in between.
- Beginners can try just 1-2 rounds, or you may choose to take an extra minute at an easy recovery pace before starting each three-minute chunk.
- Focus on your form, and pay attention to how your body transitions between each effort level.
- Try to pick up your cadence (turnover), swing your arms more powerfully, and push off more powerfully with each stride.
- As you get fitter, remove the recovery minute and add additional rounds.