Tri Coach NZ

Friday Fartlek – 8 Weeks to a faster 10k: 5km Time Trial

This workout continues the development to improve your 10k speed over 8 weeks. This is the fourth workout in this series (the first can be found here, the second here & the third here). Include each of these speed sessions once per week in your normal training.

Tri Coach NZ

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 runners often use and it means speed-play. See a previous post about training intensity (levels) to know how hard to work.

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.

5km TT

  • 10min Warm Up Level II;
  • 5km TT;
  • 10min Cool Down Level I-II;
  • 10min Stretching

The warm-up should be done at an intensity that is steady but not overconsuming at Level II. Run for a minimum of 10 minutes. Feel free to add some stride-outs in after the 10 minutes is up to increase your heart rate.

The main set: run 5km (12.5 laps of the track) as fast as you can. Start on the far side of the track diagonally from the finish line. If there is no 5,000m start line, use the 200m start mark in lane 1. Run the 12.5 laps as fast as you can. Try and keep your pace nice and steady if anything picks up the pace in the second half and run what is known as a negative split. That is, run the last 2.5km faster than the first 2.5km.

You can take your time and double it adding a minute to give a rough indication of a potential 10km time. Are you still on target for your goal time?

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

Finish with 10 minutes of 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.

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 for my informative newsletter.

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Download the Garmin (.FIT) files for this workout for FREE

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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