Friday Fartlek Run: Eight, Four, Two - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

Fartlek Session
Run Sessions Triathlon Training

Friday Fartlek Run: Eight, Four, Two

This session trains a range of speed and speed endurance by combining reps of three different distances. This is a perfect session for runners and triathletes running up to half marathon distance events.

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.

Eight, Four, Two

  • 10min WU Level II;
  • 1-3x 800m Level V, go on Xmin;
  • 3-6x 400m Level V, go on Xmin;
  • 3-5x 200m Level V, go on Xmin;
  • 10min CD Level II;
  • 10min Stretching

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) of ten minutes easy jogging at Level II.

The Main Set involves running a number of reps of three different distances Eight hundred metres, Four hundred metres and Two hundred metres. The aim is to run these fast and consistent and start the next rep on a consistent time. The faster you run them the more rest you get. Depending on your ability you will run more reps throughout the workout.

The first distance ran is 800m, use the chart below to determine how many reps you should run, what the target time is and when you should start the next rep.

5km TimeNo. RepsTarget TimeOn:
Sub 18min32:524:20
18 – 22 min23:094:45
22 – 26 min23:455:40
26 – 30 min14:266:40
30+ min14:397:00

The next set is of 400m reps, use the chart below to determine how many reps you should run, what the target time is and when you should start the next rep.

5km TimeNo. RepsTarget TimeOn:
Sub 18min61:202:40
18 – 22 min61:343:08
22 – 26 min41:453:30
26 – 30 min42:064:12
30+ min32:124:25

The final set is of 200m reps, use the chart below to determine how many reps you should run, what the target time is and when you should start the next rep.

5km TimeNo. RepsTarget TimeOn:
Sub 18min50:401:20
18 – 22 min50:471:35
22 – 26 min50:531:45
26 – 30 min51:032:06
30+ min31:062:12

The On: time is reference to how frequently you start each new rep. Looking at the table immediately above if your 5km was between 22 and 26 minutes and you were completing the five 200m reps every 1:45, you would start each rep at:

  • 0:00min (first rep)
  • 1:45min (second rep starting)
  • 3:30min (third rep starting)
  • 5:15min (fourth rep starting)
  • 7:00min (fifth rep starting)

Regardless of how fast you run each rep, that is still when you would start each rep. You will be aiming to complete each rep in just under 53 seconds. For example you might take 50 seconds to complete the 200m, then you would get 55 seconds (taking you to the 1:45 mark) for your Rest Interval. If you somehow ran slower, you would get less rest. This system forces you to work hard to maximise your recovery.

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.

During the last rep you should feel challenged but still in control. If that is the case this pace will be about right for your half marathon.

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.

With COVID-19 putting us here in NZ into lockdown (but still able to exercise in our local neighbourhood) and events cancelled, my race plans have been put into disarray. For the next four weeks I’m focusing on improving my 5km time. Monday will see me running a 5km and then 28 days of focused training.

Previously over a 4 week period myself and an athlete I coach have just taken over 2 minutes each off our 5km times. Jamie has dropped nearly 3 minutes from 25:36 to 22:37 (12% improvement) and I have taken my 5km time from 23:20 to 21:09 (9% improvement). I’ve put together a package that will help runners of all abilities, run a faster 5km.

I’m so certain that you will be running faster I have given it a 100% money back guarantee if you don’t improve your 5km time after 28 days. I don’t care what your excuse for running slower is after 28 days…..

  • I didn’t do any training…..
  • It was raining…..
  • It was windy…..
  • I slept in…….

I’ll still give you a 100% refund.

If you want to be one of the first 20 people to go through this programme and get it for the ultra low price of $28 then fill in the form below. But before you do so here is what you will get for your $47:

  • A dedicated training programme on Training Tilt (value $277)
  • Access to a weekly group coaching call (value $30 per call x5 = $150)
  • The Faster 5km Training Bible (value $27)
  • A dedicated Faster 5km 28 Day Challenge support group (priceless)

That’s a total value of over $454, and you will only pay $47 for this 28 day training programme and support features. All at no risk, if you don’t get faster you get a full 100% money back guarantee.


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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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