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Animal Run

A pacing game that teaches runners how to control and modulate pace

Tags: elementary school, pacing



  1. Discuss and demonstrate various animals’ relative speeds. For example, go over the difference between sprinting like a cheetah, and running somewhat slower, but still quickly, like a horse.
  2. Call out the name of an animal and have your team begin moving at that animal’s relative speed.
  3. Call new animals periodically.

Performance Points:

  • Include animals that represent four general speeds: walk (e.g. turtle), jog (e.g. pig), run (e.g. horse), and sprint (e.g. cheetah).
  • Pick a handful of animals to call out repeatedly for consistency, but mix in some others to keep the runners on their toes.
  • Call out a new animal every 10-30 seconds.
  • Limit sprinting to 10-15 seconds at a time.
  • Ask runners to pay close attention to how it feels to run like each of the animals.
  • After the game, have them talk about their effort and level of fatigue, as well as any form adjustments they made when they ran at the different speeds.

Training Specifics:

When: Anytime; it’s a great way to work a lot of running into a session.


  • Teaches kids how it feels to run at different speeds
  • Teaches kids to control and modulate their pace
  • Builds endurance

Youth and Schools

New York Road Runners Mission