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Your Weekly Running Workout: Countdown Fartlek

4,3,2,1…run fast!  We’re back at it again this week, with another running interval workout that you can easily track in Runkeeper!

The Countdown Fartlek will make your run fly by, as each interval is shorter than the previous one. You run for only 30 minutes, but you will get a heart-pumping workout in!

The Workout

  • Warm up with 10 minutes of easy running.
  • Run hard for 4 minutes, easy for 2 minutes, hard for 3 minutes, easy for 90 seconds, hard for 2 minutes, easy for 1 minute, hard for 1 minute, easy for 30 seconds.
  • Cool down with 5 minutes of easy running.

After a 10-minute warm up of easy running at a conversational pace, you will run 4 minutes hard, 3 minutes hard, 2 minutes hard, and 1 minute hard—with a half-time recovery interval in between. This means that for 4 minutes of hard running, you recover with 2 minutes of easy jogging, and so on. Finally, once you’ve finished the last interval, you cool down with 5 minutes of easy running.

Hard is a relative term—the exact pace will differ from runner to runner. Instead of worrying about pace, focus on effort: your breathing should be labored and you should be able to only speak a word or two at a time without gasping for breath. You don’t want to run so hard that you are unable to recover by the start of the next interval, so hold back a bit during the first interval and try to run faster with each successive interval.

Track it here with Runkeeper. Our Audio Cues will tell you when to speed up or slow down.

If you’re just getting started, check out last week’s Out-and-Back Progression Run.

Laura Norris

About the author:
Laura Norris

Laura Norris is a certified running coach, distance runner, and blogger over at This Runner's Recipes. She loves helping runners achieve their personal best through providing useful, well-researched information on running and nutrition. Beyond running, Laura enjoys craft beer, hiking with her husband and dog, and cooking.

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