Friday Fartlek – 8 Weeks to a faster 10k: 2 Mile + 4x 1 Mile - Coach Ray

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Friday Fartlek – 8 Weeks to a faster 10k: 2 Mile + 4x 1 Mile


This session develops sustained speed and lactate tolerance.

Tri Coach NZEach 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.

This is the third workout in this series (the first can be found here & the second here).

2 Miles + 4x 1 Mile

  • 10min Warm Up Level II;
  • 2 Miles, 5min RI;
  • 4x 1 Mile, 3min 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: run 2miles around the track (just over 8 laps).  A lot of tracks wont have a ‘2 Mile’ start point marked, so just pace from the finish line back to the 1 Mile start point and then take the same number of paces behind the 1 Mile start point to work out where you start your 2 Mile rep from. Run it at your goal 10km pace. See the table below to determine what your target time will be based on your goal 10km time. After you have done your 2 mile rep, jog for 5 minutes to recover prior to commencing the set of 4x 1 Mile reps.

Start this second set at the 1 Mile start (~9 metres behind the finish line) and run 4 complete laps plus the little bit extra to get to the finish line. Aim to achieve these all four reps under the time listed below for your goal 10km time. After each rep jog for 3 minutes for recovery.

Goal 10km 2 Mile time 1 Mile time
50min 16:05 8:03
45min 14:29 7:14
40min 12:52 6:26
35min 11:16 5:38

To execute this session correctly you want to be hitting each repetition just a touch faster than your target time but definitely no slower than the target time. Within 20 seconds for the 2 Mile rep and within 10 seconds for the 1 Mile reps.

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.

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

Here is a video of myself doing the workout, followed by the session on Strava.

If you are doing this on a track with no markings for the mile, do the metric equivalent distances and times in the table below.

Goal 10km 3,200m 1,600m
50min 15:59 08:00
45min 14:24 07:11
40min 12:48 06:24
35min 11:12 05:36

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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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.



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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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