Tri Coaching NZ

Friday Fartlek Session: Sisyphus Session

This session is a great way to enhance your power and leg strength from running 5kms through to the half marathon. Sisyphus was a greedy and deceitful Greek king who got sentenced to rolling a boulder up a hill, to then watching it roll back down before repeating again until eternity. This session is a bit like that, but it doesn’t go on to eternity.

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.

Sisyphus Session

  • 10min WU Level II;
  • 30sec Level V Up Hill, jog down RI;
  • 60sec Level V Up Hill, jog down RI;
  • 90sec Level V Up Hill, jog down RI;
  • 2min Level V Up Hill, jog down RI;
  • 10min CD Level I-II;
  • 10min Stretching

The Warm Up (WU) 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 track.

Today’s main set is conducted on a hill that needs to be at least 500m long and is moderately steep.

Commence the main set by running up the hill strongly with good tall posture for 30 seconds at Level V. At the 30-second mark, turn around and jog back down.

The next rep run strongly up the hill for 60 seconds at Level V, prior to turning around and jogging to the base. The third rep is 90 seconds long at Level V, before jogging down and then the fourth rep is two minutes in duration at Level V before jogging down.

The Cool Down (CD) is at a low intensity, jogging for a minimum of ten minutes.

Finish with ten minutes of 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.

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

If you enjoyed this workout, here is a similar session I published 6 months ago.

Friday Fartlek: Hard and Harder

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