Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

Running Speed
Beginner Training Run Sessions Triathlon Training

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 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 is often used by runners and it means speed-play. See a previous post about training intensity (levels) to know how hard to work.

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

Group 5,000m Time No of 400’s
A <18min 14
B 18-22min 12
C 22-26min 10
D 26-30min 8
E >30min 6


  • 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 over consuming 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) 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 on 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 stoping completely and lying on the ground, just keep moving gently.

Group 5,000m Time Start of 1st Rep 2nd Rep 3rd Rep 4th Rep 5th Rep 6th Rep 7th Rep 8th Rep 9th Rep 10th Rep 11th Rep 12th Rep 13th Rep 14th Rep
A <18min 00:00 02:40 05:20 08:00 10:40 13:20 16:00 18:40 21:20 24:00 26:40 29:20 32:00 34:40
B 18-22min 00:00 03:08 06:16 09:24 12:32 15:40 18:48 21:56 25:04 28:12 31:20 34:28
C 22-26min 00:00 03:32 07:04 10:36 14:08 17:40 21:12 24:44 28:16 31:48
D 26-30min 00:00 04:12 08:24 12:36 16:48 21:00 25:12 29:24
E >30min 00:00 04:24 08:48 13:12 17:36 22:00

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.

400’s are always a challenging session, make sure you refuel yourself afterwards 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.

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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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