Friday Fartlek Run: 2,000m/1,600m/1,200m/800m/400m - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

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

Friday Fartlek Run: 2,000m/1,600m/1,200m/800m/400m

This session is great at developing your ability to sustain a maximal effort.

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. This session is best done on an athletic track, but can be done on the road.

2,000m/1,600m/1,200m/800m/400m effort, 400m RI

  • 10min Warm Up Level II;

Main set:

  • 2,000m Level VI, 400m RI Level I-II;
  • 1,600m Level VI, 400m RI Level I-II;
  • 1,200m Level VI, 400m RI Level I-II;
  • 800m Level V, 400m RI Level I-II;
  • 400m Level V, 400m RI Level I-II;
  • 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 normally involve running a few relaxed laps of the track. Finish the warm up near the start/finish line.

For the main set run all the hard efforts reasonably solidly.

Start with 2,000m as hard as you can maintain for that distance. 2,000m is five laps of a 400m track. Aim to run as quickly as you can. After you have completed the 2,000m, jog for 400m or one lap of the track.

Next is a 1,600m rep.  As with all other reps, run them as fast as you can for the distance. 1,600m is four laps of the track. Once completed, jog for 400m.

The third rep is 1,200m and only 3 laps this time. Once again you will jog 400m for recovery.

The last couple of reps are starting to get short so you should be able to increase the intensity a touch. The second to last rep is 800m followed by a 400m recovery lap.

The final rep is 400m and is done at the highest intensity you can hold. This earns you another 400m recovery jog prior to the cool down.

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.

As the repetitions in this workout decrease in distance as you work your way through it, the relative intensity of each rep can be increased.

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.

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

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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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