Running Speed

Friday Fartlek Run Session: 400’s to Enhance YOUR 5,000m Speed

This is a great run session to enhance your speed over both 5km and 10km. These 400’s are a key workout in my upcoming eBook that will be released in mid-November.

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.

For this week’s sessions base your workout based on how quickly you ran your last 5,000m race using the table below.

Group5,000m TimeNo of the 400’s


  • 10min Warm Up Level II;
  • 6-14x 400m, starting on the target time from below
  • 10min Cool Down Level II;
  • 10min Stretching

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

The main set involves running a number of 400m reps depending on your current ability over 5,000m. You will do between 6 reps (Group E) and 14 reps (Group A). See the table above for the number of reps that you will complete. Run each rep as fast as you can and commence the next rep at a set time as per the table below:

  • A = 2:40min
  • B = 3:08min
  • C = 3:32min
  • D = 4:12min
  • E = 4:24min

Use this table to plan the start time for each rep. The faster you run, the more rest you will get. Use the time between finishing your 400m and the start of your next one to gently walk around and recover. Avoid stopping completely and lying on the ground, just keep moving gently.

Group5,000m TimeStart of 1st Rep2nd Rep3rd Rep4th Rep5th Rep6th Rep7th Rep8th Rep9th Rep10th Rep11th Rep12th Rep13th Rep14th Rep

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

Finish with 10 minutes of stretching to assist with the recovery.

400s are always a challenging session, make sure you refuel yourself afterward and continue stretching and recovering as needed.

This session is a key workout in my next eBook 5 Weeks to a FASTER 5km – Run Faster with Intelligent Training. Order now for only $17 on a pre-launch special.

Run Coach NZ

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.

Share this post so your friends can benefit as well.

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

Friday Fartlek – 8 Weeks to a faster 10k: 5km Time Trial

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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.