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Top 5 Benefits of Fartlek Training

Fartlek is basically a fancy-schmancy Swedish word for “speed play” and is a form of endurance and speed training. It might sound like a new-age, exclusive term, but fartlek has been around for over 80 years, and it’s so common that you have probably done it—even if you didn’t know that you were doing it at the time.

Ok. Have a brief giggle at the name.

Are you done? Good. Now, let’s talk about it.

Fartlek training is a form of unstructured speed work training in which the runner runs continuously while alternating between fast and slow time intervals without resting. It’s the laissez-faire of running styles, where you can be as serious or as casual as you like. For measurement of fartlek training, you can choose either time or distance. This looks like running for one minute at a fast pace, then running at a slower pace for three minutes. Or choosing to sprint for a quarter of a mile, then taking it slow for half a mile. The great thing? It’s entirely up to you! There is no defined structure, so you can really do whatever feels right and good for you.

How does fartlek training differ from typical speed workouts?

The primary difference lies within structure and control. Generally, for typical speed or tempo runs, the rule of thumb is that it should feel ‘comfortably hard’. While interval runs consist of quick spurts that are followed by a recovery period that is longer or shorter than the initial spurt. These common speed-running forms are structured, controlled, and should push you slightly.

What are the Benefits of Fartlek Training?

They’re All Fun and No Games

This form of run training can be a lot more carefree and enjoyable than other forms of running. Feeling a fast, intense run with some breaks? Perfect. Want to stroll more than you sprint? That’s A-okay. You’re supposed to have fun with it!

You Have All The Control

While other forms of running can feel rather intense and unforgiving at times, you get to pick what every second looks like based on what feels right for you.

It’s a Fantastic Introduction Into More Serious Forms of Running

Consider fartlek your gateway drug to the elite forms of running. This form of exercise is perfect for people who want to dip their toes into the realm of running without having to commit to anything. (You know. Kind of like that one ex did.)

Injury Recovery 

Did you experience an athletic injury, and you’re looking for an easy-going form of exercise to get you back in the game? Fartlek is just for you. Because this running style lacks pressure and structure, you can recover at your own pace.

Improve Endurance and Stamina

With continued use, this training style can significantly improve your stamina and endurance in all kinds of running. No matter the pace, the more that you do it, it will train your brain and your muscles to be able to run longer distances for longer periods of time.

How Can I Begin to Incorporate Fartlek Running into My Training Regimen?

The great thing about fartlek training is that there’s really no right or wrong way to do it. But if you’re seeking a few simple ways that you can try this out, here’s just a few.

Run Forest, Run

The best way to begin any running regimen? Put your running shoes on, get out the door, and take that first step. Fartlek running is built on the basis that you should view it as a run that is continuous. Remember to be gentle with yourself as you’re first starting out and if something doesn’t feel right, just take it easy.

Take Advantage of Your Environment

Feel free to use the environment around you to help give some structure to your otherwise unstructured runs. Make a goal to run at a fast, quick pace until you reach a designated point like a lamppost, then transition into a slow pace from that point until you reach your next visual landmark. Keep doing this to add some organization and a pinch of a challenge to your fartlek routine.

Above All – Just Have Fun With It!

Not many exercises can boast that they’re fun, but fartlek is far from an exercise that you’ll dread. Remember that you are entirely in control of the pace, distance, and the joy of this running style. And while it does have a pretty silly name, the benefits of this kind of running are as serious as it gets. And if you’re looking for a place to try fartlek or any other kind of running training, you can browse through our many locations to find a Chuze fitness closest to you. 

The post Top 5 Benefits of Fartlek Training appeared first on Chuze Fitness.

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