Friday Fartlek Run: 5km Special

This session is great to improve speed for runners. It is perfect for both runners and triathletes alike, especially athletes training for events such as a 5km or sprint triathlon.

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.

The inspiration for this session comes from a run workout by Joe Beer published in 220 Magazine, get the original workout here.

5km Special

  • 10min WU Level II;
  • 6x 1min Level IV, 30sec Level II RI;
  • 4min Level IV+, 4min Level V, 4min Level V+;
  • 10min CD Level 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.

To extend the Warm Up (WU) and ensure you are fully good to go for the Main Set, this workout has a Build Set first. It involves running six repetitions at Level IV (about your 10km race pace) for 60 seconds, with a 30 second Rest Interval (RI).

The main set set is particularly tough and lasts for twelve minutes. Start off with four minutes running a touch slower than your 5km race pace, then increase your effort to your 5km race pace for four minutes, then the last four minutes increase your pace to greater than your 5km race pace. This is going to be a solid effort and there are no breaks in between the efforts.

The Cool Down (CD) is at a low intensity, jogging (Level II) for a minimum of ten 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 Run: 4x 6min Threshold

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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