Tri Training NZ

Friday Fartlek Session: McMillan’s Half Marathon 400’s

This session is a great way to enhance your half marathon speed. I got this session from Greg McMillan in an article where he recommends doing this session six weeks out from a half marathon.

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.

McMillan’s Half Marathon 400’s

  • 10min Warm Up Level II;
  • 12-16x 400m (1st Level III, 2nd Level IV, 3rd Level V, 4th Level V+), 200m RI Level II;
  • 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 best conducted on a 400m athletic track. Do between 12 and 16 reps of 400m, done in groupings of four.

The first rep is done at Level III (Half Marathon pace), the second rep is done at Level IV (10km pace), the third is done at Level V (5km pace) and then the fourth is greater than Level V (3km pace).

Jog 200m at Level II between each rep. Once you’ve done your four reps, you roll straight into the next four which is back at the half marathon pace. Repeat until you have done your 12 or 16 reps.

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.

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If you enjoyed this workout, here is a similar session I published 12 months ago.

Friday Fartlek: 4x 3min, 2min RI

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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