Run Fartlek

Friday Fartlek Run: Timed Ladder Workout

Speedwork is an important skill set for all runners, it can provide improvements in your VO2 Max and enhance your threshold running ability. This is a great session for all runners and triathletes, especially those running events between 5km & half marathon but will also provide benefit to those doing a marathon distance too.

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 on Sport Coaching‘s website, you can read the full article here. They credit Hicham El Guerrouj with the workout. Hicham is the legendary Moroccan runner who won 4 World titles over 1,500m, held the World Records for 1,500m, 1 mile, and 2,000m, and won the Olympic Gold medals over 1,500m and 5,000m at the Athen’s Olympics in 2004.

Timed Ladder Workout

  • 10min WU Level II;
  • 1min Level V, 30sec RI;
  • 2min Level V, 60sec RI;
  • 3min Level V, 90sec RI;
  • 4min Level V, 2min RI;
  • 5min Level V, 2:30min RI;
  • 4min Level V, 2min RI;
  • 3min Level V, 90sec RI;
  • 2min Level V, 60sec RI;
  • 1min Level V;
  • 10min CD Level II;
  • 10min Stretching

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

The Main Set is made up of progressively longer than shorter intervals, all at Level V.

Start with a one-minute rep, followed by a 30-second Rest Interval (RI).

Next up is a two-minute rep, followed by a 60-second Rest Interval (RI).

Follow that with a three-minute repetition, which is then followed by a 90-second Rest Interval (RI).

Next will be a four-minute rep, with a two-minute Rest Interval (RI).

The longest rep is next with a five-minute effort at Level V. This is followed by a two-and-a-half-minute Rest Interval (RI).

Next up you start descending down the ladder back to a four-minute repetition, followed by a two-minute Rest Interval (RI).

A three-minute rep is next, followed by a 90-second Rest Interval (RI).

The second to last rep is two minutes long and is followed by a 60-second Rest Interval (RI).

The last rep is only a one-minute duration.

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.

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

Price: $ 0.00

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

I’ve recently launched a new Faster 10km training plan that will improve your 10km running speed, guaranteed. If your goal this year involves improving your running with limited time to train. Complete the form below and get more information about this great plan.

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