Part of speech: noun
Origin: Swedish, 1940s
A system of training for distance runners in which the terrain and pace are continually varied to eliminate boredom and enhance psychological aspects of conditioning.
Examples of Fartlek in a sentence
"As the marathon approached, Angie switched to fartlek training to prepare herself for the extended distance."
"Eric does long fartlek runs on Sundays to keep his training routine varied."
Popularity Over Time
The term “fartlek” is a loanword from Swedish, in which “fart” means “speed” and “lek” means “play.” Thus, “fartlek” translates to “speedplay,” emphasizing the practice’s frequent changes in running speeds and tempos.
Did you Know?
Fartlek training has become the standard for distance runners hoping to improve their paces before running marathons and ultramarathons. Switching between varying speeds and terrains (including steep uphill and downhill stretches, as well as slow grades) helps runners prepare for a variety of challenges they may face on race day.