Drills & Games for Youth Runners

The first rule for enhancing training is the rule of numbers. The more who run, the more fun.

The second rule is the rule of exploration.  To boldly go where no runner has gone before.

The third rule is that of dirt.  The more dirt the better. It’s nothing a shower can’t fix.

Touch a card to learn more:

Get Movin'

Level 1

Do 20 Counts

Jumping Jacks
Windmills
Full Bends
Straddle Hops
Stride Hops
Toe Hops
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Get Movin'

Level 2

Do 20 Counts

Skater Hops
Arm Circles
Squats
Side Hops Left Leg
Side Hops Right Leg
Mountain Climbers
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Running Drills

Level 1

Do 30 Counts or Seconds Each

Arm Swings
Marching
Side Shuffles
High Knees
Backwards Walking
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Running Drills

Level 2

Do 20 Seconds Each

Arm Circles with walking
A Skips
B Skips
High Knees
Butt Kicks
Carioca
Backwards Running
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Mobility

Level 1

Do 5 Counts

or Hold for 20 Seconds Standing Hug Knees to Chest
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Mobility

Level 2

Do 5 Counts

or Hold for 20 Seconds

Deep Squat Heels on Ground
Kneeling Feet Flexed
Kneeling Toes Flexed
Low Runners Lunge
Flow to Hamstring Stretch
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Goofy Relay

Equipment: marker for the turnaround point + several pairs of trainers larger than the runners typically wear
Divide the group into teams, and the teams have to wear the oversized trainers during the relay. Each member of the team must run to the target (cone, fence, marker) and back with the big shoes on.

Be Goofy!
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The Triangle

Equipment: Markers for the 3 points
Divide the group into three teams. Start one team at each point. The whole team runs from one point to the next and then does the exercise designated for that point. The team advances when everyone has completed the exercise.

The distance between the points can be as long or short as the coach wants, and the pace and number of exercises at each point of the triangle can be varied to make the workout easier or harder. Jumping jacks, squats, burpees, push-ups, jumps, etc., are options for activities, but it can be anything.

Encourage teams to support and motivate each other.
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Stay or Go

Equipment: Distance markers
After an adequate warmup, the coach tells the runners to do X amount of quick accelerations or relays. Do enough to make them begin to tire.

Then the coach says “OK, goers go home and stayers stay”. Don’t say anything more than this. After a short period of rest say “OK stayers, run from here to there X amount of times” When they are finished, repeat the “OK, goers go home and stayers stay”

Use only when you know you have a commitment from the team to work hard.
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Last Runner Out

Equipment: a marked loop
The athletes run a set distance, preferably off the track, but run in a loop. The number of loops equals the number of runners in the game (not too many or they end up running too far). After the first loop, the last runner to cross the finish line is out of the game. They continue running but go around the loop in the opposite direction. The rest of the group continues (without stopping) into the second loop. Once again, the last runner to cross the finish line is out of the game and must turn around and run in the opposite direction. The game continues until there is only one runner left.
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Water Balloon Relays

Equipment: enough water balloons!
Divide group into teams of two. The teams must run single file, and then the runner in front throws the balloon over his head, and the runner behind must catch it. After they catch it, they run to the front and repeat. If they drop their balloon, they cannot win the relay.
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Youth Running Drills & Games
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