Friday Fartlek Run: World Record Kilometres - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

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Friday Fartlek Run: World Record Kilometres

Khalid Khannouchi used this session as he built up to setting the world marathon record. This session will be great to use as you prepare for a marathon or half marathon. As we won’t do Khalid’s pace or volume I have reduced it down for those of us with goals a little slower than 2:05:42 for the 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 a previous post about training intensity (levels) to know how hard to work.

Khalid completes 12x 1,000m in 2:40-2:42 (yes, each kilometre) with a 200m recovery. Khalid’s wife and coach, Sandra: “That is his toughest workout. When Khalid can do that we know he is fit. He knows he can win any race when he is [in] this kind of shape.

World Record Kilometres

  • 10min Warm Up Level II;
  • 6-10x 1,000m Level V, 200m Level II RI;
  • 10min Cool Down Level II;
  • 10min Stretching

The warm up should be done at an intensity that is steady but not over consuming at Level II for ten minutes.

Complete between six and ten reps of 1,000m at Level V, then jog for 200m at Level II for your Rest Interval (RI). Do this at an athletics track. Start at the 200m mark and run two and a half laps to complete the 1,000m and then jog round until you get back to the 200m mark to start your next rep.

Try repeating this session over a period of three weeks or more. Start with six reps the first week, eight the second and ten the third week. See below for suggested target times based on the marathon time you are aiming to achieve.

Marathon Time 1,000m Rep Time
2:45hr 3:30-3:35
3:00hr 3:52-3:57
3:15hr 4:13-4:18
3:30hr 4:35-4:40
3:45hr 4:55-5:00
4:00hr 5:17-5:22
4:15hr 5:38-5:43
4:30hr 6:00-6:05

The cool down is at a low intensity, jogging for a minimum of ten minutes.

Finish with 10 minutes stretching to assist with the recovery.

This workout and other great sessions can be found in Michael Sandrock’s book Running Tough.

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 12 months ago.

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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