Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

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

Friday Fartlek – 8 Weeks to a faster 10k: 6x 1mile

This is a challenging session that will develop you ability to push harder with each rep, as you get plenty of recovery. The hard and fast reps will build your speed.

Each week I will be posting the Friday Fartlek Run Sessions that you can do 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 (levels) 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.

Over the next 8 weeks I will post a workout that when done in sequence will help you run a faster 10km. The key to success is to set a realistic 10km time that is challenging. Over the coming 8 weeks we will look at a hypothetic goal time for a typical person trying to run 10km under 50min, 45min, 40min or 35min. These sessions are best done on an athletic track.

The first week is possibly the most challenging week, you may be a little despondent if this workout doesn’t go as planned but bear with it. If it goes really well, you can probably step things up and aim for a slightly quicker time.

6x 1 mile

  • 10min Warm Up Level II;
  • 6x 1 mile Level IV (aiming for your 10km pace), 3-4min RI;
  • 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. Run for a minimum of 10 minutes.

The main set: Complete 6 reps of 1 mile at your 10km pace. Start at the 1 mile start line on the track (~9m back from the finish line) and complete 4 full laps plus the little bit extra for a full mile. For someone trying to get under 50min each rep should be run between 7:48 & 8:03, under 45min should aim between 6:59 & 7:14, 40min goal time for the 10km aim for between 6:11 & 6:26 and sub 35min aim for between 5:23 & 5:38. Don’t be tempted to run the first rep too fast as this will blow the remaining reps out. This should be at a comfortable pace for the first few reps and become more challenging as the session goes on. After each rep, jog around for 3-4 minutes before commencing the next rep.

The cool down is at a low intensity, jogging for a minimum of 10 minutes.

Finish with 10 minutes stretching to assist with the recovery.

As mentioned above this session is the most challenging to start with, stick as close to the scheduled times as you can, and don’t be tempted to run them faster. If you miss your target times by a small amount don’t get despondent, continue with the 8 weeks and lets get quicker together.

Prior to starting this 8 week programme it is suggested that you run a 10km race or a Time Trial in order to get a gauge of where your current level of fitness is. Then repeat the process in 8 weeks time to actually determine how much you have improved. If you do the programme feel free to comment what your Time Trial times are and how much you improve by.

Credit for the inspiration of these sessions needs to be given to Greg McMillan who is a coach and writer for Runners World.

I’m also doing these sessions as we go through the 8 week period. Here is a link to my 6x 1 Mile on Strava.

Add your times as a comment below.  You can add your results to future posts to ensure that you are keeping on target as you work through the 8 weeks.

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 12 months ago.

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 your fitness.

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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