Friday Fartlek Run: Ross Creek Intervals - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

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Fartlek Run
Beginner Training Marathon & Half Marathon's Run Sessions Triathlon Training

Friday Fartlek Run: Ross Creek Intervals

Tri Training NZ
Photo: Chris Sullivan/Seen in Dunedin

This session I did a number of times when I was living in Dunedin and running the fastest I have ever run (sub 34 minutes for 10km). I used to do this session running in one of my favourite locations around the Ross Creek Reservoir. Although the layout of the location worked well for me you can replicate the session anywhere (Ross Creek just had some hills right when you don’t want them).

Each week I will be posting the Friday Fartlek Run Sessions that you can do in under 60 minutes to enhance your running. Fartlek is a Swedish term that is often used by runners and it means speed-play. See the previous post about training intensity to know how hard to work. If you are working directly with Coach Ray he will in most cases prescribe either a Pace Zone or Heart Rate Zone to work within if you are training with these tools.

Ross Creek Intervals

  • 10min Warm Up Level II;

Main set:

  • 3,000m Level VI, recovery jog back to the start point (~5 minutes);
  • 3x 1,000m Level V, recovery jog back to the start point (~5 minutes); followed by:
  • 10min Cool Down Level I-II;
  • 10min Stretching

The warm up should be done at an intensity that is steady but not over consuming at Level II. This would take me from the flat to the start of the trail.

Tri Training NZFor the main set run all the hard efforts reasonably solidly.

The 3,000m first up is a good wee challenge.   The Ross Creek Reservoir has a steep but short climb to get up to the reservoir just prior to the 1km mark.  The route then turns right sharply making an anti-clockwise circuit of the reservoir returning to the summit of the hill.  For recovery, jog back to the start point.  It would take me take approximately 5 minutes to get back to the start of the trail.

Next are three 1,000m reps.  I would start at the beginning of the trail.  The 1,000m would take me up the sharp climb, turning right and continuing on for a short distance around the reservoir.  I would then return back to the start point at a recovery jog pace before repeating two more times.

The effort of the 1,000m reps was a lot higher than the 3,000m effort to start with.

The cool down is at a low intensity, returning home to complete the run.

Finish with 10 minutes stretching to assist with the recovery.  This isn’t necessarily included in the 60 minute workout and can be conducted whilst showering post workout.

If you would like further advice feel free to contact me.

I am the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant.

I specialise in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. I can be contacted at and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to my informative newsletter.

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If you enjoyed this workout, here is a similar session I published previously.

For more great workouts see my eBook: ‘Top 10 Workouts from Coach Ray – The Ten Most Popular Training Sessions from”.  Use the workouts within the eBook to enhance you.




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Ray has competed in triathlons from sprint to ironman distance (both IM Taupo and Challenge Wanaka). Consequently he is aware of the importance of balancing training with lifestyle, thus complimenting other important aspects of an athlete’s life (family, work, study commitments etc…). • Entering your first triathlon? • Stepping up to a longer distance? • Looking to go faster? • Wanting to turn previous negatives into positives? Ray has coached athletes to achieve these and more. Training programmes are accessible online, so athletes can be located anywhere and still reap the benefits of Ray’s coaching. Contact him to discuss how he can assist you to achieve your goals.
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