200 & 400 Meters (FurtherDevelopment)

This session focuses on pacing, endurance, strength, and speed activities to help with200m and 400m racing.

Warm Up- 7 minutes and 30 seconds

Warm Up/Cool Down Jog: 5 mins


  • Participants jog around a predetermined area (e.g., outside of gym, around a markedcourse or other).
  • Participants set their own pace, should be able to talk while jogging.
  • Have participants jog for 5-10 minutes.

Dynamic Activity

Have the participants form a circle around you, separated from one another by about six feet. On your signal, participants start to run in a clockwise direction. After 30 seconds, again on your signal, participants change direction. You can also direct them to speed up, slow down, and do drills such as high knees, butt kicks, A-skips, B-skips, and cariocas.

High Knees: 30 seconds


  • Drive knees upward while taking short steps; thighs are parallel to ground.
  • Take off and land on the balls of the feet.
  • Look straight ahead, with a tall, stable posture; avoid a backward lean.
  • Swing arms from the shoulder with elbows bent at 90 degrees; hands travel hips to lips.
  • Swing arms in opposition to knee drives (left leg, right arm).
  • Provide cues: “Knees up” “Thighs parallel to ground.

What to look for

  • Knee lift that is parallel to the ground
  • Taking off and landing on the balls of the feet
  • Looking straight ahead, with a tall, stable posture
  • Avoiding a backward lean

Butt Kicks for Runners: 30 seconds

  • Drive knees upward while taking short steps and bringing thighs parallel to ground. Bring the heel of the raised leg to the glute.
  • This drill will look very similar to the high knees drills.
  • Swing arms in opposition to legs.
  • Align head with spine and look straight ahead.
  • Keep shoulders on top of hips.
  • Keep pelvis in neutral position

A-Skip: 30 Seconds

  • Skip forward while lifting knee to waist height and flexing foot upward (ankle dorsiflexed). Keep back leg straight during toe-off.
  • Continue moving forward, alternating legs.
  • Strike ground with mid-foot or forefoot underneath the body.
  • Swing arms in opposition to legs.
  • Align head with spine and look straight ahead.
  • Keep shoulder on top of hips.
  • Keep pelvis is neutral position.
  • When doing this drill for the first time, walk through it to get the motion down and gradually progress to skipping.

B-Skip: 30 Seconds

  • This movement is very similar to the a-skip, except with the added movement of snapping your leg back down right after you drive up your knee.
  • Skip forward while lifting your knee to waist height and flexing foot upwards (ankle dorsiflexed). Keep back leg straight during toe-off.
  • Once the knee is raised and your thigh parallel with the ground, quickly use glutes and hamstrings to pull your leg back down, landing on the ball of your foot under the body, in a pawning motion.
  • Continue moving forward, alternating legs, and pulling the ground with your mid-foot or forefoot underneath the body.
  • Swing the arms in opposition to the legs
  • Align the head with the spine and look forward•Keep the shoulders on top of the hips
  • Keep the pelvis in neutral position
  • When doing this drill for the first time, walk through it to get the motion down and gradually progress to skipping.

Carioca - High Knees (Grapevine): 30 seconds

  • Stand sideways at the start line, feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Cross the outside (trailing) foot in front of the lead foot and then cross it behind the lead foot.
  • When crossing one leg in front of the other, lift the knee up and over to get a better stretch of the outer hip muscles.
  • Continue crossing in front, crossing in behind.
  • Stay on the balls of feet.
  • Maintain upright posture.
  • Stretch the arms out roughly parallel to the ground and hold them still or swing them in a controlled, fluid, side-to-side motion in opposition to the movement of the legs.
  • Repeat in the opposite direction, now crossing over and behind with the other foot.
  • Start slowly and after mastering the footwork pick it up to a brisk pace while maintaining good form.

Skill Lessons & Activities

Training Concepts

Dedicating time to strength work, speed work, resistance training, intervals, and endurance training builds stronger and faster runners. The following activities are ways you can train these areas to help develop your group.

Body Weight Strength Training

Introduce each of the following activities with a demonstration, reviewing the benefits of each activity and which muscles are trained. You can have participants do a specified number of reps for each exercise or have them perform each exercise for a designated amount of time and stress focusing on proper form.

Push Up (Upright Starting Position): 5 minutes

  • Place the hands on the ground slightly wider than shoulder width with the arms are extended straight.
  • Fully extend the legs out, coming onto the toes and distributing weight evenly from the hands to the feet.
  • Keep the head, neck, back, and core straight and stable throughout all phases.
  • Lower the body, bending the elbows to about 90 degrees, until the face is approximately 1 inch off the ground.
  • Maintain pressure through the hands.•Push the body back to the starting position, unhinging the elbow.
  • Keep weight centered over the base of support.•Continue to raise and lower the body slowly, using controlled movements and maintaining consistent tempo.
  • Exhale while pushing up; inhale while lowering down.

Training Guidelines

  • Many participants may not initially have the strength to perform a full pushup. Have them begin with a modified pushup by placing the knees on the ground and raising the feet off the ground.
  • Begin with 1-2 sets of 5-10 pushups (either standard or modified), then progress.

Squats: 30 seconds

  • Stand with feet facing forward, toes pointed out slightly shoulder width or slightly wider apart.
  • Slowly and fluidly, hinge at the hips while bending the knees and lower the body keeping the thighs parallel to the ground.
  • Look forward, shoulders back, chest out, back flat.
  • Extend the arms out in front for balance if helpful.
  • Slowly rise back up and then repeat the action.
  • For greater resistance hold a medicine ball.
  • Lower only to a point that works the quads hard without creating unnecessary stress on the knees.
  • Don’t let the hips sink lower than the knees.

Plank: 30 seconds

  • Place elbows directly under shoulders and forearms straightforward.
  • Align shoulders with hips and ankles.•Legs are extended out.
  • Upon command lift body up evenly distributing weight from the forearms to the toes.
  • The body should be held in a straight line as if there is a rod running from the head to the feet.
  • Begin by holding for 10 seconds (or less), take a pause and repeat or transition to another exercise.
  • Progress to 60 second hold with no pause.

Lunges: 5 minutes


  • Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart, pointing the toes and facing the knees forward.
  • Keep the back straight and the shoulders over the hips.
  • Step two to three feet forward with one foot and lower into a lunge position with the front knee bent at about a 90-degree angle and the back knee bent at a 90-degree to 120-degree angle.
  • Keep the front knee over the ankle, not the toes. If the knee is too far forward, slide the hips back.
  • Do not let the hips or torso twist or drop to one side.
  • Hold for 1-2 seconds.
  • Push off the front foot to return to the standing position.
  • Repeat, leading with the opposite foot.
  • As a variation, lunge down a straightaway by stepping forward with each lunge.

Training specifics

  • Beginners: 1-2 sets of 5-10 lunges per leg.
  • Experienced participants: 2-3 sets of 10-15 lunges per leg.


The Centipede: 10 minutes

  • Form groups of five to 12 participants of roughly equal ability.
  • Give each group a baton.
  • Have participants in each group run single file at a slow pace.
  • The first participant in each group pass the baton to the next participant, who passes it tot he next, and so on so the baton travels to the end of the line.
  • After getting the baton, the last participant sprints to the front, then slows down.
  • Once at the front, this new leader begins passing the baton back, and so on.
  • Encourage participants to communicate the pace with one another to keep the group together.


  • For a more playful version, decide on a subject category (e.g. colors) and have each participant call out something that falls within that category to signal when she or he will sprint to the front of the line.
  • The challenge level can also be increased by yelling a designated cue to signal whoever is holding the baton at that time to run to the front.
  • For inexperienced participants, form smaller groups for shorter sprints.
  • Coaches can run with the group to help maintain the line and the pace.

Resistance Training

Uphill Challenge: 10 minutes


  • Have participants hold their arms behind their back and run up a hill.
  • Repeat three to five times, progressively increasing speed each time.
  • Next, run up the hill normally using proper arm swing.
  • Repeat a few times.
  • Note the differences in comfort, power, and speed between armless running and normal running.
  • To increase the challenge of the activity, try the following variations:
  • Restrain the arm swing by carrying two small cups, each filled halfway with water.
  • Balance tennis balls on big spoons in each hand.

Tips for Hill Running

  • Keep the elbows bent at about a 90-degree angle and swing the arms from the•shoulder, not the elbow.
  • Swing the arms straight, forward and back, without any sideways movement.
  • Keep the shoulders and hands relaxed.
  • Maintain relaxed upright posture, with only a slight forward lean; don’t hunch forward.
  • Lift the knees higher than when running on a flat surface.
  • Extend the driving leg by powerfully straightening it at the ankle, knee, and hip joint.


Interval training is an effective way to improve runners’ fitness.During an interval workout, athletes run fast(70-80 % of maximum effort) for short distances (50-400 meters) with full recovery intervals (about 2-5 minutes) after each hard effort. An example of an interval workout is running repetitions of 200 meters six times with 3 minutes recovery between repetitions.

Endurance Training

Distance runs help build endurance. Have beginners start off with a walk/run combination for a set number of minutes. For example, run 2 minutes and walk 1 minute, repeated 5 times for a total of 15 minutes. Build up to running 30 minutes continuously.

Cool Down: 10 Minutes

Warm up/Cool Down Jog: 10 minutes


  • Participants jog around a predetermined area (e.g., outside of gym, around a marked course or other).
  • Participants set their own pace, should be able to talk while jogging.
  • Have participants jog for 5-10 minutes.

Group Stretch: 5 minutes


  • Gather in a central location to perform static stretches.
  • Ensure you are positioned so that all can make eye contact with you.
  • Lead participants through the stretches. If performing as a cool-down; use this opportunity to review the skills from the lesson. Perform each stretch once, holding for 20-30 seconds. If performing as a flexibility session, take time during each stretch to explain the purpose of each stretch and what is being stretched. Perform each stretch 2-3 times, holding for 20-30seconds each time.

Glute Stretch

  • Start by lying flat on the back with the knees bent and the feet on the ground.
  • Relax the torso and neck, letting the head rest on the ground.
  • Rest one ankle on top of the opposite knee.
  • Reaching through the legs, gently pull the bottom thigh toward the chest, raising the bottom foot off the ground.
  • This stretch should be felt in the glutes of the top leg.
  • Don’t overstretch; maintain a comfortable level of tension. Hold the stretch for 30seconds, repeat on the other side.

Quadriceps (Quad) Stretch

  • Standing upright, bend one knee behind the body, grasping the ankle with the hand from the same side. Gently pull the foot toward the glutes, bringing it as close as you can without over stretching or causing pain.
  • Keep the knees together throughout the stretch.
  • Keep the body upright and hips level.
  • Keep the feet in line with the body.
  • Don’t lean in any direction or pull the foot out to the side.
  • If necessary, use the free arm to brace the body against a wall or other support for balance.
  • Hold for 30 seconds; repeat with the other leg.

Floor Hamstring Stretch

  • Lying on the back, raise one leg as high as it will naturally go; keep the other leg flat on the ground. Grasp the raised leg at the back of the thigh, just below the knee, and pull it gently toward the upper body to feel a good stretch through the hamstrings.
  • Keep both legs as straight as possible.
  • The hips should remain on the ground.
  • The torso and neck should be relaxed and the head should stay on the ground.
  • Flex the toes toward the shins to feel more of a stretch.
  • Avoid bouncing or over stretching.
  • Breathe deeply and stretch the raised leg a little closer to the body on each exhale.
  • Count 10 seconds as the torso folds forward, then hold for 20 seconds; repeat with other leg.

Calf & Achilles Stretch

Calf Stretch

  • Brace against a wall or other support with arms outstretched at shoulder height.
  • Take a large step backward with one leg.•Bend the front knee while keeping the back leg straight and the back heel planted on the ground.
  • Lean forward slightly while actively pushing the back heel into the ground to feel a good stretch in the calf of the back leg.
  • Keep the back straight and the shoulders squared.
  • The knee of the lead leg should never extend in front of the toes.
  • To intensify the stretch, step farther back with the trailing leg.
  • Hold for 30 seconds; repeat with the other leg.

Achilles Stretch

  • Move the back foot forward a bit and bend the back leg slightly while keeping both heels on the ground.
  • Keep both feet facing forward and the back heel planted firmly on the ground.
  • Keep the back straight and the shoulders squared.
  • The knee of the lead leg should never extend in front of the toes.
  • Hold for 30 seconds; repeat with the other leg.

Seated Trunk Twists

  • While seated and with the legs straight out in front, bend the right leg and cross it over the left.
  • Place the right foot flat on the ground next to the left knee.
  • Place the left elbow on the outside of the bent knee, gently pushing the leg inward.
  • Put the right hand on the ground behind the body for stability while keeping the right arm straight and gently twisting the torso to the right. Avoid leaning back during the twist.
  • Hold for 30 seconds; repeat on the other side.

Arm Stretch: Tricep Crossover Arm

  • Keep the neck and spine straight.
  • Make sure not to bend the upper body backward or sideways.
  • Bring the right arm across the body.
  • Use the left hand or forearm to hold the right arm against the chest.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with the other arm.

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