Is running that same five mile loop with your friend getting a bit boring? Do your interval workouts become unfocused because there’s no one there to hold you accountable? Is your training just becoming straight up boring?
Do I have the solution for you. Group run games. (Infomercial voice off). Group run workouts offer some healthy competition, while making sure everyone sticks to their training goals. NO more slacking off, because your buddy will take great pleasure in pointing out your lack of effort. If your partner runs like a gazelle, and you run more like elk, don’t worry. These workouts are structured so runners of varying abilities can do them together.
Now grab your friend or friends (look at you Mr./Mrs. popular) and try out these workouts.
1. You run, I rest / I run, You rest.
From the title you probably get the idea. Go to the track, or pick a loop course. This works best with distances of 200-800M. Your partner runs a lap while you rest, and while you run your partner rests. You get a varied rest interval based on your partner’s lap. If you are not feeling great, you might give your partner a hard time, hoping they will slow down. If you are feeling frisky, you can speed up and take some of their rest. Overall the goal here to is to keep both runners engaged, get some good work in, all while having fun.
2. Stalk your prey.
This workout is a run (race) handicapped by your predicted finish times. Start with a predetermined course. (3 – 5k is a good distance). Each runner picks their finish times based on past performances. The slow runners starts first, and gets a head start based upon the difference of the finish times.
Example: If I say I will run 25 min, and Frank says he is going to running 21 minutes, I get a 4 minute head start. His goal is to try and chase me down. My goal is to hold him off. To make this work, all runners need to be honest with their times. NO SANDBAGGING. The only prize on the line here is pride. There’s no pride in cheating.
3. Run Golf
The goal in golf is to get a low score. It’s the same in run golf. Pick a one mile course, and place a watch or have a time keeper at the finish. Have each runner predict their mile finish time. The idea is to come as close to possible to that time without using a watch. How many seconds you are off of that time (fast or slow) is your score for that lap. If I say I will run a 7:28, and I run 7:39 my score is 11. Repeat the laps three times, and the runner with the lowest score wins. Like in golf having a side bet will make this more interesting. (Maybe a round of post workout beers?)
This workout is great to work on pacing. Having to keep pace without the watch, forces you to use perceived effort to keep pace. If you run with a GPS watch most of the time, this workout might be a challenge.
If you give one of these workouts a try, leave a comment to tell us how it went.