Tag Archives: fartlek

Difference Between Fartlek, Tempo, and Interval Runs? | Runner’s World

Here’s a quick breakdown of these three major types of speed workouts.

Fartleks, That’s fun to say
Fartleks, That’s fun to say. Elf.

Hi Jenny, I just read your article, ‘What Should I Do During the Off Season?’. Very helpful, thanks! Could you briefly explain to me the difference between fartlek, tempo, and interval runs? Thanks! Mary

Hi, Mary. Thanks for the kudos. Ask and you shall receive: Here is a brief 411 on fartlek, tempo, and interval workouts.

Fartlek Workouts are not only fun to say out loud, but they’re fun to run. Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play,” and that is exactly what it’s all about. Unlike tempo and interval work, fartlek is unstructured and alternates moderate-to-hard efforts with easy throughout. After a warmup, you play with speed by running at faster efforts for short periods of time (to that tree, to the sign) followed by easy-effort running to recover. It’s fun in a group setting as you can alternate the leader and mix up the pace and time. And in doing so, you reap the mental benefits of being pushed by your buddies through an unpredictable workout. The goal is to keep it free-flowing so you’re untethered to the watch or a plan, and to run at harder efforts but not a specific pace.

Benefits: Stress-free workout that improves mind-body awareness, mental strength, and stamina.

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