Friday Fartlek Run: Jon Brown's Sweet Spot - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

Fartlek Workout
Run Sessions Triathlon Training

Friday Fartlek Run: Jon Brown’s Sweet Spot

Running just above or just below your threshold pace will develop your ability to run at Threshold pace. This session has you running at your threshold pace and then recovering just below your threshold, meaning you don’t get much recovery within the workout. This is a great session for all runners and triathletes especially those running events between 5km & half marathon.

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 Canadian Triathlon Magazine written by Kirsten Sweetland, click here to read about it. Her coach Jon Brown used to prescribe this session for her.

Jon Brown’s Sweet Spot

  • 15-20min WU Level II;
  • 6x 1km Level IV, 1km Level IV-15sec 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 running six reps that are two kilometres in total. The first kilometre is at Level IV pace and the second kilometre is only slightly slower – about 15 seconds per kilometre slower. Although this the “Rest Interval” (RI) it is not much slower than the effort and this set will cover 12km without much true recovery. See the table below for paces to maintain.

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.

Use this chart to set some paces to target for this run based on Kirsten Sweetland’s recommendations.

10km TimeLevel IVLevel IV minus 15 sec/km
0:32:300:03:150:03:30
0:35:000:03:300:03:45
0:37:300:03:450:04:00
0:40:000:04:000:04:15
0:42:300:04:150:04:30
0:45:000:04:300:04:45
0:47:300:04:450:05:00
0:50:000:05:000:05:15
0:52:300:05:150:05:30
0:55:000:05:300:05:45
0:57:300:05:450:06:00
1:00:000:06:000:06:15
1:02:300:06:150:06:30
1:05:000:06:300:06:45
1:07:300:06:450:07:00
1:10:000:07:000:07:15

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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If you enjoyed this workout, here is a similar session I published.

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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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