Track (Video): Kick-Off-the-Turn Workout
Track (Video): Kick-Off-the-Turn Workout

Track (Video): Kick-Off-the-Turn Workout

Dick Moss, Editor, Physical Education Update.com

The "Kick Off the Turn" workout is a great way to combine speed development with the tactics involved in surging, passing, and kicking off the turns.

Setup
The following description is for a 200 meter indoor track, although the workout can also be performed on a 400 meter track (see "Variations" below).

Have your athletes pair up. The inside runner is considered the pacer, while the outside runner is the kicker.

Divide the track in three, by placing a pylon at the start of each section. One half of the track (the back turn) will be the jogging section, one quarter will be the 1500 meter pace section, and the other quarter will be the sprint section.

Execution
The two athletes begin by jogging, side-by-side, around the back turn of the track. When they pass pylon number one, they begin running at 1500 m pace. They continue running side-by-side until they pass pylon number two, which is located at the midpoint of the turn.

The outside runner (the kicker) then kicks past the pacer, and "sling-shots" off the turn onto the home stretch and all the way past pylon number three. The kicker slows down and jogs slowly until caught by the partner (the pacer), who has continued to run around the turn at 1500 m pace.

The pacer and kicker then change positions and jog slowly around the track until they once again reach pylon number one. They then repeat the drill with the former pacer now acting as the kicker and vice versa.

They continue until both runners have had three attempts at being the kicker. That's one set. Three to four sets comprises a workout, with a two-lap jog acting as recovery between sets.

Advantages
This workout combines several elements and teaching points.

  • It teaches runners that the most efficient way to pass is to "sling-shot" off the turn and onto the straight. You might explain that it is more difficult to pass by accelerating as they enter the turn because centrifugal force tends to push them off the end of the track. (A pass into the turn can be done, particularly when passing slower runners, but it is more difficult…especially on indoor tracks, where the turns fare very tight).
  • It gives runners practice in changing speeds off their race pace. Many runners become so patterned to their race pace that they can't change speeds when required.
  • Explain to your runners that the best way to pass his with a fast, decisive move, as opposed to a gradual increase in speed. A hard move gives the opponent little time to react and can be extremely demoralizing. In contrast, attempting to pass by gradually accelerating and easing past an opponent gives the opponent time to fight off the kick

Variations

  • You can perform this workout on 400 meter track by kicking off both turns and using most of the straight for the recovery jog.
  • You can also perform this work out with three or more athletes in a group. Have one or two runners act as the pacers, with the other runners kicking past in a line or as a group.
  • You can substitute the 1500m pace with 3000, 800m or any pace from which you want to develop a kick.
  • Rather than a full-out kick, you can work on surging. The speed isn't as fast, but be sure to continue focusing on a decisive move past the opponent.

To see a demonstration of the
Kick-Off-the-Turn Workout, watch the video below:

Dick Moss, Editor, Physical Education Update.com, February 2009.


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