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Baton Chain Run

A pacing activity that teaches running at a controlled pace and develops the ability to surge

Tags: high school, pacing



  1. Split your team into groups of 5-12 runners of roughly equal ability.
  2. Give each group a baton.
  3. Have athletes run in a single-file line at a slow to moderate pace.
  4. While running, athletes pass the baton back so it travels to the end of the line.
  5. After getting the baton, the last runner sprints to the front of the line.
  6. Once at the front, this new leader begins passing the baton back, and so on.
  7. For a more playful version, decide on a subject category (e.g. college football teams) and have each runner call out something that falls within that category upon receiving the baton.
  8. More experienced runners can eliminate the baton and spread out for a smoother stride and a longer surge. In this version runners shout "go" as they reach the front of the line, cueing the runner at the end of the line to start sprinting.

Performance Points:

  • The purpose of the baton is to help keep the group together, but ultimately it is the leader's job to keep the line intact by maintaining the established pace.
  • The line pace should be slower than a typical long run due to the amount of sprinting in the activity.
  • Remind runners to surge to the front quickly.
  • Make sure the line stays together.
  • Have runners maintain good running form.

Training Specifics:

Duration / Reps: 2-5 miles

When: As the main workout

You Need: One baton for every group of 5-12 runners


  • Teaches running at a controlled pace which improves a runner's ability to cover longer distances at faster speeds
  • Develops the ability to surge and break away from competitors
  • Builds team camaraderie, motivation, and support, which are important for success

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