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Advice from Hersheys' Fast Track to Sports on Running Activities

Advice from Hersheys' Fast Track to Sports on Running Activities

Hersheys' Fast Track to Sports is a program developed by experts in Track and Field. Hersheys' supports local track and field competitions that included 400,000 youth and a National Competition each year with 550 of the fastest youth runners and jumpers. Visit www.hersheystrackandfield.com for more information. 

Short races: 15 to 25 yard races teach proper start and form techniques. Start 5 or 6 children at a time and race short races emphasizing proper start position and focusing on quick short steps during the races. Repeat several times, as long as the races remain fun and engaging!

Bean Bag Relays: Divide the groups into teams and put bean bags or other items that can be picked up at some distance from the teams. Each person runs, one at a time, picks up the item, and runs to a designated finish area. When they are finished the next person on the team runs, etc., until the team is fnished.

Team Run Race: Line up teams of 4 or 5 or 6 and run single file around the track or field. When the coach blows the whistle, the last person in the line sprints to the front of the line. Everyone cooperates by staying together. Do this until each member of the team is back in the original position. This can be used to increase running distance as you add more people to each team. It also emphasizes good pacing.

Middle Distance Practice: Form teams and run at least 1/2 mile (800 meters) in a group. Everyone much stay together the entire way. Use increasing distance at weekly sessions as you go through the school year.

Relay Races: Around the track or around the field. Use relay batons (can be made from PVC pipe if you don't have actual batons). Designate teams to compete against each other and place one person from the team at various distances away from the start. Typically on the track you would designate 100 meters for each person. Each team member must pass the baton to the next member and continue running.