Friday Fartlek Run: Zwift Academy Tri 2020 Progressive Tempo - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

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Fartlek Run
Run Sessions Triathlon Training

Friday Fartlek Run: Zwift Academy Tri 2020 Progressive Tempo

Tempo is a very important pace to include within a workout to build your ability to sustain pace. Within this workout, you increase the pace with each rep compared to the previous rep, running faster and faster as the workout progresses. All runners (and triathletes) can benefit from this higher intensity of training, especially athletes with events from 10km out to a 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 session comes from Watts On Zwift. Although designed for a treadmill, I’ve modified it a little bit. You can read the full article here.

Zwift Academy Tri 2020 Progressive Tempo

  • 10min WU Level II;
  • 2x 1min Level III-IV, 1min Level I RI;
  • 6x 4min Level III-IV (10sec/km faster each rep), 2min Level II RI;
  • 10min CD Level II;
  • 10min Stretching

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

First up is a build set to increase your Heart Rate (HR) and get your body fully warmed up for the main set to follow. Complete two reps building from Level III into Level IV within 60 seconds. Take a 60 second Rest Interval (RI) jogging at Level I after each reps.

The Main Set is made of six, four-minute reps start at Level III and build to Level IV. Each rep aim to maintain a pace that is ten seconds per kilometre faster than the previous rep. Jog at Level II for two minutes after each rep.

As you have just finished the build set, we will start each rep with a two minute Rest Interval (RI) before the three minute rep. The first of which is high-low-high. Spend the first minute at Level V, then the second minute at Level IV and then the final minute at Level V again. Take a two minute Rest Interval (RI) before the next three minute rep which is low-high-low. Spend the first minute at Level IV, then the second minute at Level V and then the final minute at Level IV again. That will take ten minutes to work through. Complete that ten minute block, three times.

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.

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.

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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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