In Iten Kenya, every Thursday morning, hundreds of elite runners meet for a fartlek run through the hilly countryside surrounding the village.

The Thursday fartlek is sacred in Kenya, and fartlek is also a widely utilised form of training in Kenya’s neighbour and rival distance running powerhouse Ethiopia. Fartlek is used on a weekly basis by the worlds greatest runners including Eliud Kipchoge during all phases of the training season.

So if Kenyan and Ethiopian runners value fartlek training so highly, why do so many runners in the UK dismiss it?

Gavin uses lesson 4 from his Lessons from Kenya Series to explore just this. Offering up his view on why western runners are less inclined towards fartlek runs and prefer instead to focus on interval and tempo style training for their hard workouts.

Gavin suggests that the reasons may be largely cultural but that the bottom line is that western runners are missing our on multiple physical and psychological benefits that fartlek training offers runners of all levels.

Check out the full article on our Kenya Experience site

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