A pacing exercise that teaches runners to adjust their effort and speed to match their goal pace
Tags: high school, pacing
- Determine each runner's goal race time based on their performance history and your assessment of their potential.
- For each runner on your team, calculate even-paced splits for the distances they'll cover in the workout.
- Once runners know their target splits, have them run repetitions with the goal of hitting the same target each time.
- Stop them halfway through each repetition and tell them their times.
- Have runners quickly calculate the time they need to run during the second half of the repetition in order to finish on target.
- Have them finish the repetition.
- Give runners their time for the second half of the repetition and have them add the two times together to figure out how close they came to hitting their target split.
- Goal times should be faster than current personal bests.
- Runners new to the activity may need a few extra seconds to do the calculation.
- The goal for the second half of the repetition is to make sure the two halves together add up to the target. So if a runner is a little fast on the first half they have to run extra slow on the second to even it out.
- Have the runners pay attention to the times for each repetition and how fast / slow each one feels.
- As the season progresses, keep each runner's goal pace the same, but increase the distances and number of repetitions done in Splits-a-Palooza workouts.
Duration / Reps:
Sample progression of Splits-a-Palooza for 3k-5k runners:
Early Season: 8 repetitions of 200 meters (stop at 100 meters to calculate pace) with a 200 meter recovery jog between repetitions
Mid Season: 5-6 repetitions of 400 meters (stop at 200 meters to calculate pace) with a 400 meter recovery walk between repetitions
- Late Season: 8 repetitions of 400 meters (stop at 200 meters to calculate pace) with a 400 meter recovery jog between repetitions
When: As the main workout of the day
- A track or marked looped course
- A pacing chart with split times for your runners
- Teaches runners to adjust their effort and speed
- Helps runners learn what their goal pace and slight variations of that pace feel like
- Improves speed and helps runners achieve controlled, consistent running
- Decreases runners' likelihood of running too conservatively or aggressively