Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

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

Friday Fartlek: The Michigan

This session is a great way to develop the ability to maintain your running speed and have a bit of a kick at the end of it. This session is credited to coach Ron Warhurst from the University of Michigan track team. Nick Willis is currently in NZ and I saw a recent Facebook post of him doing this workout at the Newtown track in Wellington. Scroll down to view the video.

Marathon Training 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 a 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.

The Michagen

  • 10min Warm Up Level II;
  • 1 Mile on the track at 10km pace (Level IV), followed by a 2-3min jog (Level I-II) to start of road mile;
  • 1 Mile on the road at Level III, followed by a 2-3 min jog (Level I-II) to start track;
  • 1200m on the track at Level IV, followed by a 2-3min jog (Level I-II) to start of road mile;
  • 1 Mile on the road at Level III, followed by a 2-3 min jog (Level I-II) to start track;
  • 800m on the track at 5km pace (Level V), followed by a 2-3min jog (Level I-II) to start of road mile;
  • 1 Mile on the road at Level III, followed by a 2-3 min jog (Level I-II) to start track;
  • 400m on the track at Level V;
  • 10min Cool Down Level I-II;
  • 10min Stretching

Have an out and back 1 mile route planned for on the road near the athletics track. Run out for half a mile then turn around and come back for half a mile. Make sure you can comfortably jog to the start line of this out and back leg in 2-3 minutes.

The warm up should be done at an intensity that is steady but not over consuming at Level II for ten minutes. This session can be done either on the road, trail or the track.

Run 1 mile on the track at your current 10km pace. Your recovery is your jog to the start of the road mile. Run this mile on the road at Level III (about 20 seconds slower than your track mile), then jog back to the track where you will run 1,200m (or three laps) at the same pace with the same splits as your previous mile on the track.

Jog back to the road mile and repeat that aiming for the same time as the previous off-track mile. Return to the track at a jog and run 800m (or two laps) at your current 5km pace (~4-5 seconds per lap quicker than your track mile pace of the previous reps on the track).

Jog back to the road mile and repeat as per the previous two reps of that before jogging back to the track for the final rep of 400m. Run this rep as fast as you can, then cool down.

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.


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 previously.

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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