This is Thursday, May 9, 2024.

This is Week 9, Day 4.

This is Fartlek Day.

Gosta Holmer, a Swedish Olympian who competed against Jim Thorpe, invented this interval program for running on trails and in parks.

Mr. Holmer developed it for the Swedish cross-country team in the 1930s, which did poorly in European competitions, and Gosta wanted to motivate them.

The Olympic decathlete and pentathlete developed a beautiful approach to training that allows athletes to personalize their training in many ways.

This is your workout:

Warm up today,

60 minute fartlek,

5 minutes hard, 5 minutes easy, one time

3 minutes hard, 3 minutes easy, 3 times,

2 minutes hard, 2 minutes easy, 3 times,

1 minute hard, 1 minute easy, 10 times

20-minute cooldown,

6 x 150m stride-outs,



get out of your wet clothes,



Larry’s Deep Thoughts: Fartlek is for the newbie runner and elite. It provides challenging work at whatever your level. 

Jess Judd is one of the most active British distance runners.

Jess began with the 800m and has moved up to the 5,000m and 10,000m.

This has given Jess a long career, and she has years to go, given her love of racing and high fitness level.

Jess just finished her PH.d. You can read about her academic journey here:

She is speaking about moving to the roads (she has run some fine half-marathons).

Take your time moving up, enjoy the track before the roads, and you will have a speed advantage!

Jess Judd, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics