Mona Fartlek is a classic training session named after Australian Distance Running Legend Steve Monaghetti. The session was formed during a phone call with his coach Chris Wardlaw who suggested he do a fartlek session, which would take around 20 minutes allowing him to complete a lap of Lake Wendouree in his home town of Ballarat and have some 90 second, 60 second, 30 second and 15 second reps with a steady recovery. Mona being the mathematician that he is, was able to create a session that took exactly 20 minutes using combination of the suggested reps. Mona fartlek was to become a staple session during his 20 year international career.
2 x 90 seconds with 90 seconds recovery
4 x 60 seconds with 60 seconds recovery
4 x 30 seconds with 30 seconds recovery
4 x 15 seconds with 15 seconds recovery
How to do the session
Ideally this session would be completed on a fairly flat loop, allowing you to attack the session and not have to worry about running uphill during a recovery. One of the great things about the Mona fartlek is that is can easily be adapted for whatever your fitness level is and what your goal race is. If training for a marathon the recoveries can be kept quite solid and be run at or just slower than goal marathon pace, however if you are training for a shorter race the recoveries can be done slower to allow for the reps to be run at a faster pace. Beginners can even walk the recoveries as a great introduction to interval training.