Friday Fartlek Run: Deek’s Quarters

This session is challenging, I make no bones about that, but it will make you FASTER. This session is great for runners and triathletes, especially those running up to 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 week’s workout comes from Michael Sandrock’s book Running Tough. Rob de Castella would use this session year-round and was a staple for when he set the world marathon record (2:08:18) and won the World Marathon Champs (1983).

Deek’s Quarters

  • 10min WU Level II;
  • 8x 400m Level V, 200m Level III;
  • 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 of eight, 400m reps. These 400’s are run hard at Level V. They should be one to two seconds faster per lap than your current 5km pace!!! What makes this set so touch is that the 200m float between reps is done at Level III, this is run at about a minute per mile (or 37 seconds per kilometre) slower than your current 5km pace!!!!

This is not going to be easy, and as the accumulation of minimal recovery builds up the session gets tougher as you work through it.

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.

Here are Deek’s Quarters from when I did it:

Redline (Heart Rate), green line (pace), pink line (power)

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

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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.

Imagine training with the best distance runners and running coaches of our time, learning their favorite and most effective workouts, and discovering their hard-earned secrets to success. With Running Tough you’ll find yourself running side by side with such world-class runners as Bill Rodgers, Libbie Hickman, Frank Shorter, Arthur Lydiard, Ron Clarke, Emil Zatopek, and Adam Goucher, tasting their unwavering dedication and determination, and viewing firsthand their training runs.

Written by prolific running journalist Michael Sandrock, Running Tough organizes the workouts by training goals to create a user-friendly handbook. This allows you to develop a customized training plan using the most appropriate workouts for training and racing. You’ll find chapters dedicated to

– long runs, to help develop aerobic endurance
– off-road training, to build and strengthen the legs;
– fartlek training or the “”Speedplay,”” to discover variety;
– interval workouts, to increase speed;
– hill workouts, to build strength and stamina;
– tempo runs, to push anaerobic thresholds;
– recovery fun runs, to heal muscles while emphasizing the enjoyment of the sport; and
– building a program, to prepare for competition.

With Running Tough, you’ll have the tools to create enhanced training programs, discover new plateaus in your workout regimes, and meet the challenges of world-class competition. You’ll find that whether you’re looking for increased strength and endurance, improved aerobic or anaerobic capacity, or just a competitive edge, Running Tough will help you train with more efficiency, more enthusiasm, and more variety.

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