Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Fartlek Training

Fartlek sessions work by getting athletes to run over a set distance, or a set amount of time. However rather than running at a specific pace the athletes change their pace between slow jogs, easy runs, tempo pace, and full out sprinting. The changing of pace is either after a set amount of time, or between landmarks such as lampposts. To benefit 5k racing fartlek training sessions should be no longer than 4 miles in distance or 35 minutes in time.

The benefits of using fartlek sessions are that the athlete’s body will adapt to cope with lactic build up, as well as increase its ability to deliver and use oxygen. Fartlek’s can reduce the risk of repetitive injuries associated with longer, single pace, continuous running.  Fartlek session will also give an athlete typical running benefits such as weight loss.

These types of sessions should ideally replace a repetition session on  occasions, or be used when an athlete is unable to plan or complete a specific session due to reasons out of their control. A beginner runner may use this type of session while they are deciding how their training plan takes shape.

Fartlek training is of most benefit to: 1) Athletes who don’t have access to a track or set route. 2) Athletes who have not planned a repetition session but want to do a lactic threshold session. 3) Beginner runners who want to complete a repetition session that will best suit them with little planning.  

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