Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

Fartlek Session
Run Sessions Triathlon Training

Friday Fartlek Run: Andrew Simmons’ Pyramid

This session is great to improve speed for runners over 5-10km as well as half and full marathon distance. It is perfect for both runners and triathletes alike.

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 an article on Training Peaks written by Andrew Simmons from Lifelong Endurance.  Read the original article here.

Andrew Simmons’ Pyramid

  • 10min WU Level II;
  • 2min Level V, 2min Level II;
  • 3min Level V, 3min Level II;
  • 4min Level V, 4min Level II;
  • 3min Level V, 3min Level II;
  • 2min Level V, 2min Level II;
  • 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.

The main set is made up of five reps that build and then decrease in duration, with an equal duration Rest Interval after each rep. The first rep is two minutes duration at Level V, with a two minute Rest Interval (RI) at Level II. The second rep is three minutes long at Level V followed by a three minute Rest Interval (RI) at Level II. The third rep is the longest at four minutes long at Level V, then a four minute Rest Interval (RI). As you move towards the end of the workout the duration of the intervals decrease back down to three minutes, done at Level V. An equal three minute Rest Interval (RI) at Level II is done afterwards prior to the last rep. The last rep is two minutes long also at Level V, followed by a two minute Rest Interval (RI) at Level II.

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.

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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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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