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Coach Crowe's Workout of the Week Posted on March 25, 2014

Among the many training techniques in a coach’s arsenal, one of the most effective is Fartlek.  Fartlek is a Swedish word meaning “Speed play” and is a loosely structured form of interval training.  Fartlek evolved from Sweden in the 1940’s and Swedish Olympic coach Gosta Holmer was the first to write about it.  In its purest form fartlek has no set distances and allows athletes to choose faster tempo and recovery periods themselves.  An example might be sprinting between telephone poles on a stretch of road.

The unstructured aspect is a little disconcerting for younger and novice runners, who seem to find fixed workouts more appealing.  In my quest to develop a training program for the younger runner, I discovered a fartlek system utilized by Australian Olympic marathoner Steve Moneghetti.  Moneghetti’s workout named the “Mono Fartlek” in his honor works like this:


2 X 90 seconds hard (10K pace) with 90 seconds of steady running (not jogging) between.

4 X 60 seconds hard, 60 seconds steady between.

4 X 30 seconds hard, 30 seconds steady.

4 X 15 seconds hard, 15 second steady. (Gerwick, 2004)


“Mono Fartlek” can be added to by repeating it over as many miles as desired.


I found this fartlek to be too demanding and mentally intimidating to my runners, but I liked the structure of the fartlek.  Through trial and errorI adapted the workout to what I call the “Mondo Fartlek”.  The workout is laid out like this:


90 seconds hard (approximately 10K pace), 90 seconds steady running.

60 seconds hard (approximately 5K pace), 60 seconds steady running.

30 seconds sprint, 30 seconds steady running.


This I call one block, after one block the athletes run as many blocks needed to run three to four miles. A recovery jog can be placed in between blocks if needed. 


The beauty of fartlek is it incorporates a variety paces throughout the workout and it can be run over a mixture of terrains.  By slowing the steady portion of the fartlek the run can be adjusted to the ability of the athlete.

Fartlek is an important training tool and if you are not utilizing it I encourage you to do so and you may want to try one of the examples I have given you.


Thanks for reading.


Gerweck, J.  January/February 2004 Running Times Magazine article “Running Recipes for Speed on the Go”


*Coach Crowe is a freelance blogger for the More Miles More Smiles team. He also is a life long distance runner and high school/college Cross Country and Track and Field coach!*

by Mark Spewak


zehigatawu on On 03/08 at 10:49 PM

Muchas gracias. ?Como puedo iniciar sesion?

Sude on On 06/05 at 05:35 AM

Hello Dave Angel you have been a great gift to me. I have a 12 year old boy. Who hasstruggled with his diislibaty of aspergers and adhd sence he was in pre school where he was beatin in the bathroom by the teacher and while playing on the floor he also told me she would hit him on the head with woodenblocks glue bottles. Wooden sticks. I tried to do somthing about but I was a mom al alnoe and had no money and thay told me not to fight the system I’ll loose. My son made through second grade where thay wanted to send him to a socalled special needs school in side of another school. This surely was hell where thay had a time out room and they had ropes {so called restraints} if needed. Never in my dreams did believe that thay would use them on my child. If he started to have a melt down thay would put him in this 4by 8 ft room with a door with a long slender window for viewing thay would not. Let my son out till he calmed down.which usually went to him wetting his pants .there were a lot of so called accidents happenening. Till thay asked to,,have some extra clothes at school.After that the predator finally made her move .My son wet pants after a melt down and the para molested him,putting his penis inher mouth and fondeling him. I donKt know how many times or how many other children she did this to.I called the police and a full investigation began and then suddedly she dissapeared not to be found.My son then went into another special needs school that was developed by a lady who devoted her life to special needs kids my son did well there for a while and soon was attacked by another student and choked in lunch line. Then he was head butted by another in the face and was knocked out. We moved my son to yet another school in a school where he was verbally abused by the teachers ,telling him that thay were going to get him sent to a foster home if he didn’t behave. We took him out oot f ther and we had to send. Him back to the previous school which had been cleaned up a lot. He spend half year ther and we found a IBAC school and basiclly had his own teacher he did very well there .this year he was put in another IBAC school and was doing okay until that replaced the administator with one that was going to so straiten this place up .I the hasting down everyday. Thay try to get my son to do thing by keeping his breakfast or lunch from him called the police on the children and has caused so much anxeity there the kids are melting down everyday.the day thay called the police on my son. He was tring to hide which is somthing he dose when he has a lot of anxeity. Thay are suppose to give him his space when he is having the happen but the new person dosent believe in this and dosent allow the others to do the things thay need to do. Like spinning or rolling ,rocking etc. My son dosent need a record for something he can’t control. I can’t take the abuse any longer. I an now going to home school my son. With a virtual learning school I think this is a great gift and I know my son will be safe. Thank You all very much and sorry for any booboos I typed this on my phone. I,Tn this and thaym tdome not to fight t she .24

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