Fartlek is a Swedish term meaning ‘speed play’ and that is precisely what is done in Fartlek training – you play around with the speed of your training tempo!
Why use Fartlek Training?
Fartlek training It is an unstructured form of interval training where work is performed continuously for a specific duration, but instead of working at a single intensity, as in LSD (continuous) training, the intensity is varied in a fairly sporadic manner. This can be a lot of fun; particularly if performed outside in a park. The session could consist mainly of jogging around the park but then occasionally throwing in some sprints, followed by some walks to recover. However, it can also be carried out on a treadmill, upright bike or cross-trainer.
Fartlek training on a Treadmill
This morning I had planned to do some Fartlek training on the treadmill using my heart rate to monitor the intensity. After a 5 minute warm up I began increasing my speed gradually so that my heart rate slowly increased from 60% of HRmax to 95% of HRmax. Once it hit 95% I slowed the treadmill down to a walk and waited for my heart rate to return back to 60% again. As soon as it hit 60% I began increasing the speed again until I hit 95% again. I managed to get 4 or 5 of these in within a twenty minute period (30 minutes including warm and cool down). It was a great workout. Not only did it work my aerobic and anaerobic energy systems but it also burnt off a ton of calories, not to mention the added afterburn effect of the high intensity training. The best thing in fact was that the time went really fast. If you are a runner, or play a field sport such as football, hockey, or rugby then I highly recommend them. Or if you just want to burn some calories then why not try some Fartlek training.