Friday Fartlek Run: XC Simulator - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

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Fartlek Session
Run Sessions Triathlon Training

Friday Fartlek Run: XC Simulator

Any Cross Country (XC) race will usually start hard and fast, and then finish the same way with plenty of guts and strength in the middle segment. This workout will enable you to develop these traits whether for Cross Country, road racing or 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 post came from an article in the October 2012 Runner’s World magazine and is credited to Matt Centrowitz (an American coach and former athlete – not to be confused with his son of the same name).

XC Simulator

  • 10min WU Level II;
  • 1,200m Level V, 1min RI;
  • 1,600m Level II;
  • 5x 60sec Level V Hill Reps, ~60sec Jog Down Level II RI;
  • 1,600m Level II;
  • 1,200m Level V, 1min RI;
  • 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 five different sets.

Start off the first set by running 1,200m on the track at Level V. Run the first lap at 1,500m pace and then the next couple of laps ten seconds slower. Rest for a minute.

For the second set, run a single mile (1,600m) at Level III, tempo pace.

The third set is a series of five reps up a hill for 60 seconds at Level V, jog back down between reps at Level II.

Then run another mile (1,600m) at Level III, tempo pace and then rest for a minute.

Finish with a 1,200m rep at Level V with the opening couple of laps ten to fifteen seconds slower than 1,500m pace. Change gears to finish with the last lap at 1,500m pace.

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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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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