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Time Trials

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: high school, pacing



  1. Time runners as they run their race distance. If they don't have a regular race distance, try using one mile.
  2. Instruct runners to give their best effort.
  3. Record their times.
  4. 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.
  5. Repeat time trials regularly to monitor improvement throughout the season.

Performance Points:

  • 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 themselves these questions:
    • Did I have a lot of energy left over?
    • Did I run out of energy before finishing?
    • How closely did I come to hitting my splits?
  • Have runners record their times and keep them for reference throughout the season.

Training Specifics:


  • 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

You Need:

  • 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

Other Pacing Videos

Running Rewards

A pacing exercise and fun team competition that trains runners to identify the effort it takes to run at their goal race pace and teaches them how to monitor their speed

Tags: high school, pacing

Youth and Schools

New York Road Runners Mission