Speedplay (fartlek) as post long run recovery, quality aerobic conditioning speedwork, ideal extra session in high mileage build-up, anti- aging for masters running, fartlek is a great playtool. By 31 minute 10k runner and author of "Running Dialogue" David Holt.


Sample Chapter from Running Dialogue...Chapter Five, Long Reps at Threshold Pace

Whatever your running distance, most distance running should be fun.

When playing, that is running, use fartlek training for:

Long distance run recovery

After the long distance run, fartlek brings pep back to your
legs...gently. Two days post long run, do 100 to 400 meter striders
over varying terrain. A soft surface is best, and will prepare you for the
more formal speedwork 4 days post long run,

Aerobic conditioning

All distance running trains your aerobic conditioning, but fartleks
speedplay brings in those reluctant fast twitch muscle fibers. Fire up the
fast twitchers, get the entire muscle into action.

High mileage build-up...for middle distance and long distance runners

Please...not a slow mileage build-up. Long slow distance (LSD),
long-distance runs, all training, needs to be done above 60 percent max
heartrate. You’re probably better off aiming for 70 percent to
guarantee the cardiopulmonary system is stimulated.
If you are adding a four mile run each month to get from 60 to 80 per
week, the first, third and fifth should be fartlek.
Sound harsh.
You only need to start with 6-8 strides. Build to one and a half miles of
gentle speedplay at half marathon race pace. This minimal fast running
will aid your running form and avoid junk miles. As I said above, it will
work all your muscle fibers.
If your main race goal is the 5k, once you’ve got used to the increased
mileage, you can bring the last few strides down to that speed. After a
year or so, by changing one stride a month to this pace, most of the
speedplay can become 5,000 meter race pace 

When to do fartlek running

You can run these gentle fartlek sessions the evening after a long
distance run, (unless it was longer, or faster than you are used to); or
the morning before your evening 5 miles of track repeats. You will feel
looser in both situations.

Leg strength and Anti-aging...masters running

Fartlek running keeps your legs strong as you go through the masters running
age groups. Use it to gain or maintain leg strength. The speedplay
stimulates endorphins for healing and health.

Recreational runners and joggers

Recreational runners will find fartlek the most humane 
way to incorporate speedwork into their 10 to 20 miles a week.

Fartlek pace

Use appropriate pace and distances for a more formal session.
Long reps at 15 k, long ones at 5 k, or short efforts.

If you want a hard training session, do the same amount of time 
at fast pace as you run at the track or in interval or tempo sessions:
but use a different section of the forest or park for each effort.
Let perceived intensity and breathing guide your speed.


40 mile per week intermediate or moderately intensive running during fartlek and base mileage phase
Fartlek run to:

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David Holt's Homepage
From which you can see injury and diet advice and the other pages: or

Marathon training
Half marathon training...first element...mileage and hills for strength
5 mile, 8k and 10k training (details on VO2 max)
David Holt's second running book: 10K & 5K Running, Training and Racing.
5k training and racing...the first of five pages for the 5k runner
10k training...mileage and strength and access to four other parts of 10k training
Recreational running: 5k racing on low mileage, 15-25 week preparation for race, or public safety fitness test
E-MAIL ORDER TO DAVID HOLT
Running Dialogue">Running Dialogue at barnesandnoble.com
Buy Running Dialogue Today! ">Running Dialogue, 280 pages, $17.95, by David Holt. Training for the 5K to the Marathon, for beginners and experienced runners, with extensive injury prevention and treatment advice, nutrition, cartoons and inspirational essays, at Amazon.com
Buy 10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing Today! ">10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing, 180 pages, $17.95, by David Holt (plus 3,000 meters, 8K, 12K and 10 mile training advice and schedules for 20-100 miles per week) at Amazon.com
10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing">10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing: The Running Pyramid, at Barnesandnoble.com

Or send $17.95 per book to David Holt at PO Box 543, Goleta, CA 93116. (includes shipping and tax)

Copyright David Holt 2,000 Any part, or all of this training material may be quoted or reviewed...provided you acknowledge the source...Running Dialogue and other books by David Holt, this web page or www.runningbook.com, and contact me at holtrun@sprynet.com to let me know the material is being used or reviewed.