Posted on Oct 18, 2018, 2 a.m.
Many people use fartlek training to improve their endurance and speed among other benefits of this seemingly simple yet unique approach to exercising. This method is primarily used by runners, benefits include increased speed and endurance, improving cognitive focus, and fat burning among other benefits.
Interval training is combined with continuous training which keeps intensity levels fluctuating over a set distance or amount of time. Those using this form of training typically enjoy the flexibility of the workout in that the intensity, distance, and variability of the workout can be decided upon spontaneously and adjusted as required by each individual.
Altering intensity can train both anaerobic and aerobic systems to be more flexible, it could include combining jogging with periods of sprinting, or walking with period of jogging. As an example one may start by jogging a quarter mile, then sprint a hundred meters, to walk slowly for another hundred meters, then jog for another quarter mile, to finish the designated loop with a final sprint. Every aspect is controlled by the individual, making this style of workout customizable and dynamic. Fluctuation of intensity can have positive effects as a cardio exercise while forcing the body to stretch its limits and boost endurance. Fartlek training has a number of different workouts.
5K Fartlek training goals are to improve 5K racing speed and final time, which should include 8-10 gentle increases in speed that last for about 60 seconds each, with a 1 minute jog to recover between them. Don’t stop until you have hit a 5K distance which should help you work on end of race surging.
Landmark fartlek training requires choosing landmarks in the distance of the run and gradually speed up until reaching that point. Once there return to normal jogging pace until recovered, then choose the next distant landmark and repeat the process.
Music fartlek involves creating a playlist that goes back and forth between fast and slow beats to use to jog with varying between just below normal jogging pace and just above, by alternating running speed to match the alternating songs providing an enjoyable and dynamic workout.
Fartlek, HIIT, and tabata approaches to training have certain similarities but do differ in key ways. Fartlek involves easy or moderate active recovery periods between intensity interval, heart rates of 70-85% max level, can be spontaneously controlled or altered by the individual, and can range from 30-60 minutes. HIIT involves recovery time between periods of intense training, heart rates of 85-90% max level, and typically lasts for 20-40 minutes. Tabata is 4 minutes total structure of 20 seconds of intense training followed by 10 second of rest, with heart rate targets at 100% of max level.
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