Group running advise

by Running Club Leader

I have been asked to help in a running club starting here in my home town. Groups being divided into beginners, those who can run 1-2 miles, then those who are more advanced.


I've been asked to work with those who are a bit more advanced.

Can you give me tips and ideas to be successful with my group. I have been running for about a year and a half. Run several 5ks and completed my first half last May with two scheduled this year. Although I have some distance built up myself I'm looking for ideas on what to do with my group. We will meet once a week and my first idea is that this day will be their long run day and they will run other days on their own. Please give me some adivise!!

Good for you getting this group together. I do have a couple of ideas for you that might help spice up your weekly meetings.

First of all, a long run is a good idea for the first meeting, but mix it up from week to week. Maybe run a long run every other week, but for the weeks in-between, here are two simple work out ideas.

My favorite workout that can be mixed into a regular distance run is "Fartleks." This means "Speed Play." Go out for a typical distance run, but during this run, you pick up the pace for one minute every so often. I typically advise people who are doing a Fartlek run is to do five pick ups of one minute each. Don't pick up the pace until about five to ten minutes into the run. Then mix in some pick ups here and there.

When you are in a group, it is nice to do because different people can lead each pick up. You can read more about a Fartlek workout here.

The other workout idea that I have for you would involve running on a track. It is the 400 meter repeat workout. Why do I suggest this? Well, it is a simple workout that can fit with any number of runners in a group. Some people can do fewer repeats, and others can do more. You can also have some people run at different paces as you start, but adjust the recovery time so everyone still starts their repeats at the same time.

To be honest, I don't really 'like' running this workout, but I do like the benefits of this workout. You can really learn how to lock into a specific pace with running repeat 400's. Let's say my goal time for a 5k is 25:00. I picked this pace because it works perfectly for dividing up into 400's. Anyways, the pace for a 25:00 5k is 8 minute miles. Divide this by four and you have 2 minutes per 400 meters. If you are running a 400 meter workout, you run these 2 minute laps repeatedly. You'll learn what it feels like to run at 8 minute pace when you are fresh, and also after a number of repeats, you'll learn how to push a little harder when you are tired and hold onto your goal pace. I suggest taking a one minute break between each 400 meter repeat. For more information visit the Intervals information page.

Man, I gave you a lot of information! Sorry! I hope I didn't confuse you. I just hope you can use some of these ideas. Make sure you present them to your group to see what their goals are and how you can assist them with reaching their goals. If you are still looking for more ideas, check out these Running Workouts.

Happy Trails - Coach Tief

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This article was written by David Tiefenthaler, the founder and main contributor for Tips4Running.com. In addition to running, he's also an author, and a full time teacher.

You can follow David on Twitter @Tiefsa or visit his blog
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