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Bill Dellinger, while coaching at the University of Oregon, in his book, The Distance Runner's Handbook proposed those new to fartlek run 30 - 40 minutes on Monday's sprinting 200 - 300 yards 8 - 12 times during the workout or 100 - 200 yards 16 - 24 times during the workout without specificity of rest times in either case. Often, I have used each of Dellinger's workouts in the same week.

10 minute cut down

One variation of the Oregon workouts is 10 minutes of 200 - 300 yard sprints, a second 10 min utes of 200 - 100 yard sprints, and a third ten minutes of 50 - 100 yard sprints. The last bit happened since this athlete runs 50 -100 yard strides after along run.

Overdistance 1

Another take on Dellinger happened when an athlete ran a 1000 meter overdistance for his 800 meter racing distance, then after a break ran along while running a series of 100 - 200 yard easy sprints.

Overdistance 2

Another variation on Dellinger is run a 1000 meter overdistance for the 800 meters or a 2000 meter overdistance for the mile, performing 100 - 200 meter sprints along the way.


The last three variations show how to do your own workout and not to simply copy someone else's workout. I always encourage athletes to take my workouts and do it their way.

  • Warmup of jogging and stretching.

  • Brisk paced run until tired.

  • Long rest to recover.

  • Light run with long sprints until some tired.

  • Light run with short sprints until some tired.

  • Sprint up 400 meter hill.

  • Cool down with jogging and stretching.

Yakimov, the former USSR coach, proposed the above workout which has no specific numbers until the very end.

In practice, I make sure athletes perform the brisk run and two light runs at least as over distances for the middle distance event they are preparing for. I use 200 yards as the division between long and short sprints as Dellinger did.

This workout can be spread throughout the training week perhaps as shown below. It is not unusual for me to plan training weeks with four days of exercising alternated with three days of running.

1400 meter hill climb
2Upper body exercises
3Long sprints run
4Leg exercises
5Short sprints run
6Mid-section exercises

On Wikipedia, a version of Yakimov's work is being attributed to Homer whose work is below.

  • Warmup of jogging and stretching. Homer wrote calistenics.

  • 5 - 10 minutes performing 50 - 100 yard long wind sprints.

  • Follow with 6-8 runs up a 440 yard hill or 10-12 sprints up a 220 yard hill.

  • Rest 15 - 20 minutes.

  • Run two miles at five minutes per mile pace. If using this workout, change the two mile running time to your abilities.

  • Depending on the distance of the race you are preparing for, run 800 meters in your best time for the distance +30 seconds or 1500 meters in your best time for the distance +60 seconds.

  • Cool down with jogging and stretching.

If you were to split the running styles described above into different training days, a training week would be as follows.

12.5 or 3 mile run
2Upper body exercises
3Hill sprints
4Leg exercises
5Wind sprints
6Mid-section exercises

Gustav Homer, a.k.a. Gosta Homer, widely credited with popularizing fartlek in 1930s Sweden, proposed this workout, which Homer believed could take 90 minutes to perform, combining different styles of runnnig into one workout.

Homer's workout starts by recommending to run a range of distances, repetitions, and times. Today, in North America, coaches who have never been examined in nor trained in designing fartlek workouts, falsely offer as fartlek workouts, interval workouts where athletes are told times to run and rest.

In Toronto, I have been told by coaches to run a minute and rest a minute or run 200 meters and jog 200 meters. Each of these are examples of interval workouts and not fartlek since distances and times to run and rest are specified.

Homer ends his proposed workout with distances and times to run specified for endurance running. That is different from having an entire workout's running and rest distances and times specified.

Hill Fartlek

New Zealand coach, Arthur Lydiard, called hill fartlek a ten mile run where were four 1/4 mile hill runs which is one mile of hill running in a ten mile run. Homer's hill sprints are 1.25 miles (10 X 220 yards) to 2 miles (8 X 440yards) long in a workout which at most maybe 6 miles long. I too, by using hilly courses, have designed lap running and out & back workouts with more than one mile of hill climbing in less than a ten mile run.

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