Friday Fartlek – 8 Weeks to a faster 10k: 20-24x 200m - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

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Friday Fartlek – 8 Weeks to a faster 10k: 20-24x 200m

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.

Tri Coaching 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.

This is the sixth workout in this series the previous sessions can be found here:

20-24x 200m, 200m RI

  • 10min Warm Up Level II;
  • 20-24x 200m, 200m 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 between twenty and twenty-two reps of 200m at your 5km pace. See the table below for your target times each rep. Then jog slowly for 200m before starting the next rep. For each rep, start at the 200m start point and run hard in that lane to the finish line prior to jogging around to the 200m start point again. The jog shouldn’t be a forced jog but a gentle float.

Your target times for your respective 10km goal times are:

Goal 10km Time 200m Target Time
50min 0:58
45min 0:52
40min 0:47
35min 0:41

To execute this session correctly you want to be hitting each repetition a few seconds below your target time for ALL 24 reps. If you start off too fast you will run out of steam/energy and start slowing down. Everyone feels fresh and good at the start but the first few reps don’t really contribute to the success of the session. You’ve got to do them to get the benefit of the session but the quality of the session comes from how well you do the last few reps. Hold back on the reins until you get to the 16th rep. If you are still feeling fresh at that point then go for it. If you miss the target time for a rep, whilst you are doing the recovery jog refocus, freshen up and give the next rep your absolute best shot. If you miss the next one repeat the process in the recovery jog. If you miss three in a row, pack it in for the day and cool down (early if you need to).

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.

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. Here is a link through to my Strava file (minus most of the warm up).

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.

To improve your 5km Time by over 2:30 in ONLY 5 Weeks get my most popular run programme here. Results Guaranteed. Use discount code CR30 to get a 30% discount.



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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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