Cross-Country Running: Moving Pylon Workout

Cross-Country Running: Moving Pylon Workout

Dick Moss

If you train on open fields, park space, golf courses or school football field, the Moving Pylon workout is a good way to break up the monotony of running loops around the same boring course.

It's also a good way to give your runners' practice in negotiating sharp turns.

The Workout
All you need are two people to act as human pylons - for example, you and an assistant coach.

Your runners start from a common spot on the field, like a tree, backstop or some actual pylons. Their job is to then run around you, then the other coach, then back to the starting point.

The interesting part of the workout is that you and your assistant coach change your location on every repetition. This allows you to take advantage of different features of your site (for example, hills), and to change the sharpness of the turns. It also keeps the workout interesting for your runners since each repetition is different.


1. Run repetitions of the complete route. For example, a repetition would comprise a complete loop around each coach and back to the start. In this case, the duration of running will change on each repetition because the coaches change their location.

2. Run for time and a specific recovery, and simply keep running around the course. For example, 75 seconds with 90 second recovery. In this case the running duration and recovery are fixed, even though the location of the coaches changes on every repetition. This would make the workout more of a fartlek workout (changes of pace within a continuous run).

3. Change direction of running so your athletes aren't turning in the same direction every time. This also provides variety.

Running Sharp Turns
When running sharp turns, which are occasionally seen on cross-country courses, instruct your runners to dip the inside shoulder and pump the outside arm across the body. This will help them to stay close to the inside of the turn while the fighting centrifugal forces that are pushing them to the outside.

1. Moving Pylon Workout — Athletes Run Around Coaches, Starting from the Tree2. Coaches Change Position on Every Rep

1. Moving Pylon Workout — Athletes Run Around Coaches, Starting from the Tree
2. Coaches Change Position on Every Rep


Reference: Dick Moss, Editor, PE


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