# Teaching pacing for Middle Distance lessons

Discussion in 'Physical education' started by WKR, May 16, 2011.

1. ### WKR

Has anyone got an ideas for teaching students pacing for middle distnace lessons. I have a few ideas, but would really like to get my classes looking at how to pace, not "can you keep running...so make sure you can pace yourself"

2. ### njs1999

Put them in a group of 4, one group per lane.
They then have to perform a lap of the track in a set time, e.g. 60 seconds.
The idea is not to beat the time, but to get as bang on to 60 seconds for the lap.
Differentiate according to ability/year group - make the time longer/shorter as you see fit.
Emphasise that they must start AND finish as a group, and that there is no racing element to it, but as above, getting their time right.

eheyestmhs likes this.
3. ### tyke1982

WARM UP - In small groups stand in a line, one behind the other, behind a cone within a pre-determined area. Ask them to jog around the area and return, as a team, to their cone in exactly 15 seconds. Then increase to 30 secs and then to a minute, you can increase time as many times as you see fit. This will give the pupils an appreciation of time and how to judge it.

MAIN BODY -
Part 1 - Keep pupils in their group and on get them to run a pre determined distance (this could be around a track or backwards and forwards over a straight line distance) over and over for 4 minutes. This is a control run and so should be done at a very steady pace and not aimed to race against another group. Once they have done this give the pupils time to rest and explain to them that they will now run over half the time (2 minutes) but must attempt to complete the same distance/number of laps or lengths. Pupils will be able to use the time judging skills that they worked on in the warm up to be aware of how quickly they need to be running throughout the time.To help, you could call out the time every 30 secs. Discuss with group if they achieved this and how.

Part 2 - Now pupils will run over 3 times the duration that they have just run (6 minutes) and must be able to run 3 times the distance they have just run. Allow them time to work this out (a bit of cross curricular there) and then set them off. Discuss different ways that they could approach this e.g. fast to begin and slow to finish, slow start fast finish, constant pace throughout. Once pupils have completed this discuss with them which approach they took and whether or not it was successful.

From this pupils should be able to appreciate that pacing involves judging time in order to ensure that you are running at an adequate pace (not too slow OR too fast) and maintaining this pace throughout their race.

COOL DOWN - As this lesson has involved a lot of running I would advise a cool down of your choice. Maybe one in which you can incorporate your plenary, e.g. traffic lights - green = jog, yellow = walk and red = stop and stretch. Ask questions as they walk and then chse somebody to answer as they are stood stretching.

Finally, as you can see this lesson does involve a lot of running so may not be ideal for all groups but the fact that they are not racing each other over a set distance is ideal for differentiation. I have tried this with a variety of groups and it has worked well with all of them, although some need more encouragment than others.

Hope this helps.

4. ### giggirl

Is that a 400m track? Pretty good going!

5. ### njs1999

Yeah, they do it in their sleep!
Think I was meant to put 90 seconds.

6. ### tyke1982

Another one that I did today with a group of lower ability, poorly motivated pupils for 400m (I am aware that 400m is more of a sprint than middle distance but it could be used as a pacing lesson and could easily be adapted for 800m etc).
Take the whole group on a BRISK walk around the track, timing how long it takes to complete 400m. Use this time to set a target for them to complete the lap whilst running. i.e. if it takes 4 minutes to walk then set a target of 2 minutes to run.
Then discuss timing and pacing by using the activity used in the warm up from my original lesson (see above). Go over the fact that if they are aware of how long they have been running they will know whether they need to speed up or are able to slow down (as not to burn out) in order to achieve their target, e.g. if their target is 2 minutes and after they think they have run one minute they are not yet half way around they know they will have to speed up, or vice versa.
In the groups that they have worked in above they will then run the lap and attempt to get as close to the target time as possible. In order to help them, explain that you will shout/blow whistle after every minute to help them with their timing. Running this way should result in most pupils running the lap at a constant pace, with very small changes. Therefore when the lap is complete question the pupils about the pace at which they ran. They SHOULD come to the conclusion that it is best to remain at a constant speed the whole way around and also be aware of time as they run.