If running with a partner can be tricky, trying to figure out a fun, effective group run can be downright intimidating. Especially if you have a wide range of speed and fitness levels, trying to find a workout that works for everybody (and doesn’t deteriorate into a handful of people doing their own thing) is often a challenge.
Here are four fun runs that will push the whole group without leaving anyone behind.
Out and back. This one is simple, but effective. Plan an out-and-back run, but rather than turning back at a landmark, turn around after a set period of time. The group will naturally spread out on the way out, but the faster runners will have more ground to cover coming back. The result is everyone clustering up again for the home stretch.
Last man sprints. Back in the day, you might have heard these called Indian Runs. The group runs single file, with the runner at the back sprinting up to the head of the line to take the front spot. Once the new leader is in place, the process repeats, cycling through the line again and again. Warning: this will wear everybody out for sure!
Circuit challenge. For this one, you need a handful of checkpoints along the way. Choose a few landmarks as designated circuit spots and select one or more exercises to pound out once you get there. Everybody has to do one set, but the faster runners will have more time (and thus should do more). Reps continue until the last arrival finisseats set. Then everyone takes off for the next landmark together.
Bluefin special. Lots of the workouts in our programs have plenty of built-in walk intervals that are perfect for adjusting speed to bring the group back together. Couple that with a synchronized start and you’ve got a great workout plus perfectly timed audio cues.
Whatever workout you choose, the key to a successful group run is to look out for everybody. Experiment, watch each other’s back, and have fun out there!