This is your workout for Thursday, February 1, 2024.

Speedplay is the English translation for the Swedish word, “Fartlek”.

Fartlek was developed by Coach Gosta Holmer in the 1930s when Swedish distance runners were not doing well in cross country.

Holmer, a 1912 and 1920 Olympian at the decathlon and heptathlon, was a long-time coach. His concept was faster than race pace

training, but on soft trails.

What do I love about Fartlek?

Fartlek is as simple as you want or as complex as you want.

I used to love to shake it up, running two sides of the Rose Garden in San Jose (about 400 meters), hard, five times, with two sides easy, and then, six times one side (200 meters, with 200m jog).

Brooks Beasts TC Warming up, photo by Zeth Petarka for Brooks Running

Our suggested workout:

Warmup slowly,

20 minutes, running easy to moderate,

46 minutes fartlek,

4 minutes hard, 4 minutes recovery, eight times,

three times, one minute hard, one minute easy,


20 minutes, moderate to slow.

Stretch slowly,


Larry’s Deep Thoughts on Training: Like hill work, fartlek is a wonderful way to get you quick, keep the injuries down, and put you in a great racing position this spring. Overall, for several years, I used hill work on Tuesdays, Fartlek on Thursdays, and raced on Saturdays (or did 5k/10k simulations), racing 8-12 weeks running PBs from 2 miles to 10,000m. Train smart, Race smart, Recover smart! 

This is the Hyperion Max photo by Brooks Running, please find at
Brooks Wire 8, photo by Brooks Running, is great for 800m to 5,000m. You can find out more at