Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fun Training Runs

Happy 4th of July!! Celebrate America's Freedom with a run!! The best way to celebrate!

For those of you you are coaches or members of running groups, here are some ways to get in a good run while also having a blast. These ideas come from my former high school coach. It is especially helpful to make runs fun if you are a high school coach....I find high school runners often need as much motivation as you can give them. But it is also good for any age group. Running needs to be fun, it can't always be so serious.

Run Idea #1: Poker Run
This one takes a bit of preparation. Find 5 houses or destinations (like stores) that you can trust with a deck of cards. Divide your runners into groups and tell them the location of each deck of cards. The groups must go to each destination and pick a card from the deck. The group that returns with the best poker hand wins! The groups do not have to go to the destinations in any order, just how they choose. You can also set a time limit if you desire.

Run Idea #2: Slurpee Run
On 7/11 (July 11) all 7-11's give out free slurpee samples. It is fun to map out all the nearest 7-11's to your starting location and run to each one to sample their slurpees. You can do this any day of the year though; maybe have a certain 7-11 destination and each runner can get a slurpee when they get there. You could make it far enough away that you could have a car there to shuttle back to the starting point, or have it be a halfway point.

Run Idea #3: Ultimate Frisbee
This is the ultimate cross-training activity for any cross-country runner. We may not be very coordinated, but any runner can play ultimate frisbee. For those of you who don't know how to play, divide into 2 teams. Each team passes the frisbee to other teammates, trying to make it into the specified end-zones. You cannot run or take a step once you have the frisbee in your hand. No tackling. This is a fun game for a cross-training day, or a fun recovery workout.

Run Idea #4: Endless Relays
This is usually done on a track, but doesn't have to be. You can choose any distance, but I have only ever done it with 200s and 400s. Endless relays are a fun way to do a speed workout and not get very much recovery time. With 400s, you pair up each runner with someone similar to them in speed. You can have some sort of baton, or just do hand slaps. So each runner runs a 400, and as they finish and pass off the baton, the next runner starts. This means your runners only have the amount of time it takes their partner to run a 400 as rest time. It is really difficult. I've done anywhere from 8-20 400s this way.
If you choose to do it as a 200m workout, the runners get in groups of threes. The rest then becomes 400m and makes the workout a bit easier. Either way, it is a really good, hard workout, but makes it more fun than repeats.

What are ideas you have used to make training runs fun? Comment so we can build the list!

1 comment:

  1. This may sound so dumb, but we did it all the time in high school. Try to jump and bite a leaf of a tree. It's fun in a group because everyone is laughing at each other and you're totally not thinking about how far you're running, you're thinking about trying to get a leaf. The rules are it can't be a bush- you actually have to jump and at least one person has to witness that you did it.


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