Fartlek Workout

Friday Fartlek Run: Joe Friel’s Marathon Test Set

Joe Friel uses this session every 4-6 weeks for his athletes to test their marathon fitness. Outside of testing, it provides a really great training stimulus to develop your speed. It is perfect for both full and half marathon 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 runners often use 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 Joe Friel’s blog entitled The Triathlete as a Fast Marathon Runner.

Joe Friel’s Marathon Test Set

  • 10min WU Level II;
  • 8-12x 800m Level V, 20sec Level I RI;
  • 10min CD Level II;
  • 10min Stretching

The Warm Up (WU) should be done at an intensity that is steady, but not overconsuming at Level II for ten minutes.

The main set is made up of between eight to twelve reps of 800m. Run these reps as fast as you can and then take 20 seconds of walking recovery for your Rest Interval (RI). Yes, I know this isn’t much recovery time and the later reps will be slower as a result. If you do this session every four to six weeks you will find that as your fitness improves so will your average time for the 800s.

The Cool Down (CD) is at a low intensity, jogging (Level II) for a minimum of ten minutes.

Finish with 10 minutes of 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 coachray@coachray.nz and 021 348 729.

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Download the Garmin (.FIT) files for this workout for FREE

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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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