A pacing exercise that establishes a baseline for each runner's fitness level and pacing skill, and provides an opportunity to practice pacing and monitor progress
Tags: middle school, pacing
- Time runners as they run their race distance. If they don't have a regular race distance, try using one mile.
- Instruct runners to give their best effort.
- Record their times.
- Discuss the results with each runner. Work with them individually to establish a time goal to reach by the end of the season and the pacing tactics to work on to reach that goal.
- Repeat time trials regularly to monitor improvement throughout the season.
- Use a measured course and keep the distance the same across trials.
- Make sure new runners understand the distance they will be running beforehand and assure them it will get easier with practice.
- Remind runners to focus on running their own personal best.
- For advanced runners, call out split times to guide their pacing.
Have runners evaluate their pacing by asking them these questions:
- Did I have a lot of energy left over?
- Did I run out of energy before finishing?
- Have runners record their times and keep them for reference throughout the season.
- Repeated frequently during the beginning of the season
- Replace with races later in the season if athletes compete regularly at a set distance; otherwise conduct monthly trials for practice and to monitor progress
- A measured course
- A stopwatch
- A notebook
- Establishes a baseline for fitness and pacing skill, a crucial first step in setting goals for improvement, including determining target times for racing and training
- Familiarizes beginners with their racing distances and the challenges of pacing
- Provides an opportunity to practice pacing
- Provides a way to monitor progress in order to acknowledge improvements and adjust goals as necessary