Friday Fartlek Session: Brad Hudson’s 1-2-3-2-1min

This session is a great way to enhance your speed endurance and is great for 5km and 10km events. It comes from an article written by Matt Fitzgerald for Competitor Magazine that he got from Brad Hudson a former top runner who is now a top coach.

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 this 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.

Brad Hudson 1-2-3-2-1min

  • 10min Warm Up Level II;
  • 1min Level V, 1min Level II RI;
  • 2min Level IV, 2min Level II RI;
  • 3min Level III, 3min Level II RI;
  • 2min Level IV, 2min Level II RI;
  • 1min Level V; 1min Level II 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 for 10 minutes. This session can be done either on the road, trail or the track.

Today’s main set is a pyramid session that starts off with one minute at Level V (5k pace), then a minute Rest Interval (RI) at Level II. Increase the duration to two minutes but drop the intensity slightly to Level IV (10k pace), then two minutes at Level II for a Rest Interval (RI). The longest rep is three minutes long and is done next at Level III (half marathon pace), followed by three minutes at Level II as a Rest Interval (RI). Next up repeat the two minutes at Level IV, with a two minute Level II Rest Interval (RI), then finish with a one minute repetition at Level V. Finish with one minute

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.


Brad Hudson and Matt Fitzgerald wrote a book together that I highly recommend. It is called Run Faster and is a great read.

Do you want to run faster? Are you trying to peak for a particular race? Would you like to find your true running potential? Brad Hudson, former Olympic Trials marathoner and current coach to Olympians like Dathan Ritzenhein, will show you the way in this practical, reader-friendly guide. Hudson is the most innovative running coach to come along in a generation. Until now, only a handful of elite athletes have been able to benefit from his methods. Now Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon shows all runners how to coach themselves as confidently and effectively as Brad coaches his world-class athletes. Becoming your own best coach is the ticket to running faster at any distance.
First you will learn to assess your abilities. Then you’ll learn how to devise a training program specifically geared to you. Filled with easy-to-follow sample training programs for distances ranging from the 5K to the marathon and abilities ranging from novice to advanced, Run Faster is the cutting-edge guide for optimal performance.
With Hudson’s guidance, you can train smarter and more effectively—and avoid injury. And you’ll soon be running faster than you ever thought possible!

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.

Friday Fartlek Run – 20min Threshold

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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