XC Running: Surge in Pairs for Better Team Tactics

Dick Moss, Editor, PE Update.com

Two Teammates Passing Side-by-Side
Two Teammates Passing Side-by-Side

Here's a way for two runners to gang up on an opponent on a track or cross-country course. With a bit of teamwork, they can surge side by side past an opponent, or simultaneously pass on both sides of their victim.

How to Perform
The most effective duo-passing occurs

Two Cross-Country Teammates Passing on Both Sides of the Opponent
Two Cross-Country Teammates Passing on Both Sides of the Opponent
when both teammates pass side by side, instead of one after the other. This gives the opponent less time to react and possibly fight off the second runner.

To coordinate this move, have your athletes practice such duo-passes in advance. Then, during a race, they need merely to establish eye contact with each other, make a quick head movement or other signal, and blast past.

A two-runner move can have a devastating psychological effect on opponents—losing two places so quickly is a difficult mental obstacle  to overcome.

1. Eric Anderson, Training Games, TAFNEWS Press, 1994.
2. Jeff Galloway, Cross-Country Running & Racing, Meyer & Meyer Fachverlag und Buchhandel GmbH, 2010.

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