Training while running, without getting bored: how the Fartlek method works

If going out for a run every day is starting to get boring, the solution for not stopping training could be Fartlek, a somewhat original training method capable of improving endurance, strengthening muscles, and above all, she overcomes boredom. .

Fun, not repetitive, definitely out of the box. An experienced runner knows that when he say again and tointerval training pure “random” is added, then it has to be done with the fartlek.

The fartlek is a training method which engages both the aerobic and anaerobic systems, following the principle ofinterval training; however, perhaps the distinguishing feature, and also the strength, of this method of training is the variety of exerciseswhich allows any athlete to find new incentives to train, without risking demotivation.

So if you’re about to skip your next bike ride or daily run, because you’ve lost motivation from the past, you might find the solution right in the middle of it. fartlek.


the fartlek is a method of cardiovascular trainingintroduced in 1930 by Gosta Holmerm. Swedish athlete and trainer. The term fartlek means “speed game” and comes from the Swedish words fart (meaning “speed”) e lek (meaning “game”).

This method simultaneously leads speed And resistanceand today it could be ranked as the best known HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). To better explain what happens in the fartlek, in a word, we never stop: in fact, theexercise intensitynumber of say againthe rhythm variations and also the duration of recoveries which, moreover, are always active, that is, they provide for a reduction in effort, but are never real breaks.

Why is it

The fartlek can be applied in the sports training of several team sports such as football, rugby, but also in endurance sports activities such as cycling, running and rowing.

We pointed out earlier, the fartlek is a training off the beaten track and it can become an effective way to train when going out for a run has become a boring and unchallenging activity. The fartlek, on the other hand, allows you to alternate a high intensity effort with a simple walk, or to link an uphill run with a low intensity run or a brisk walk and so on.

However, fartlek should not be confused with traditional reps. The intensity of training designed by Holmerm, in fact, it is not established on the basis of minutes per kilometer as in repetitions, but on the basis of perception of exertion for the athlete, by measuring heart rate.

How do you do it

As with any type of training, it is essential to start with a phase of warm up and end with at least 10 minute cool downto gradually reduce heart rate and maximize training benefits.

Another recommendation is to always keep the heartbeat which ideally should always stay between 60-80% of your maximum heart rate.

An example of the most original training Swedish Fartlek that’s it: start running 15 minutes at 75% of your maximum heart rate, follow 40 meters of sprint, continue with 5 minutes at 60% of your maximum HR. Continue with 3 minutes uphill at 85%, another 2 minutes downhill at 65% and a minute and a half at 90%. Finally, don’t forget the recovery phase to be done at 60% of your maximum HR.


Unlike a race which is normally based on training time, during the fartlek your body must constantly adapt to changes in speed and the different surfaces you run on. Obviously this factor has several advantages, which we will see one by one.

Alternate between the effort phase and the recovery phase increases heart ratewhile the change in pace and surface works and strengthens tendons and muscles more, reducing the risk of injury.

Fartlek improves stamina level because, as we have seen, it does not allow breaks. It also trains balance, coordination and flexibility as it often involves running both uphill and downhill and on different surfaces.

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