Fartlek Training

I’ve been reading up on various training techniques for other sports and came across fartlek, as a way to create a challenge and keep training fun.

Fartlek (which my autocorrect keeps changing to tartlet and Farrell) is a Swedish word meaning speedplay. It is, essentially, exercise at a comfortable speed, or your training heart rate, with short bursts of speed and intensity getting you to your max heart rate for times ranging from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. It’s supposedly a good means of distance training that can help you really increase your average speed over long distances, in addition to endurance training.

I suggest all you distance (or MUni ) riders give it a try; I’m going to play around with it for the next few weeks and see how it goes. I’m thinking it will give me an extra oomph out of my rides, pushing me a bit more.

I used to do that for running. It’s very VERY tiring though.

I used to do this for running and ice skating (used to play ice hockey).
I agree that it is tiring but found that it really made a difference. I found that after a long run or skate, I could still put out a pretty impressive sprint finish (at least compared to previously).

I do this all the time:D I’m still not relaxing enough, so after a hundred yards, when I UPD, I’m huffing and puffing like crazy. I used to do it jogging too. I know uni gives a good workout, as an elipse machine I use isn’t as difficult for me as it used to be.

In a way you get that naturally through muni i.e. short bursts of difficult terrain/hills where your heart and breathing are going at max, then a recovery period where you’re coasting (not literally of course:)) down the other side- still working, but at nowhere near max.

Ummm, I already do that every time I ride muni :roll_eyes:

Climb a hill, catch my breath, cruise, climb a hill, catch my breath, cruise.

Maybe the flatlanders need this training :stuck_out_tongue:

Its pretty much the same as interval training really.

They’re very similar, Mark. Interval Training is generally very structured and there is a predetermined distance or time to push for. Fartlek, conversely, is less structured and you can push as long or as hard as you want before returning to your THR, or Training Heart Rate.
You’re right though, they are the same in essence.

I used to train with my ipod with music on it that was interval based.
Would start slow (warm up) then in into normal speed. After a while you would hear a beep and the music would speed up for a while then down again.
The times between intervals would decrease with the faster sections being longer as the song progressed. When it got to the mid point it would reverse and the intervals would lengthen again till you hit the cool down.
Usually about an hour long and came in different intensities.

It just meant you didn’t have to keep track of time as the music did it for you leaving you to concentrate on your activity.

I think the without structure approach pretty much describes what I do on most uni rides

If you want to really push yourself and improve endurance and recovery times try tabata sprints
Really simple. Not so easy

Go at something 100% effort for 20 seconds. Full pace as hard as you can. Thenrest for 10 seconds. Can be done with running, burpees (a sort of squat thrust star jump combo) weights in the gym in fact any exercise

Repeat 8 times

Be warned you are likely to vomit
A serious work out in 4 minutes