- An excellent way of incorporating circuit training into a running session
- Works endurance, strength and conditioning
- Ideal for groups of 4-20 runners
- Perfect for the parks
Coney Circuits is a fun way of combining running and circuit training in a park setting.
A set of flexi-cones of different colours.
Identify a loop of 60-400 meters and position 10-15 cones of different colours around the outside. If possible construct the loop on well-maintained grass or a surface that is suitable for performing a mix of exercises. Use shorter loops for more of a focus on circuit training and longer loops for a good mix of running and circuit training.
Create a list of exercises and associate each exercise with a different coloured cone.
Paricipants run around the loop, from cone to cone, stopping and performing the exercise associated with that colour at each cone.
With less than four members the session loses some of its buzz and is less enjoyable. The upper limit depends on the space and number of cones available but a maximum of 20 is about right.
Especially with larger numbers it's a good idea to split the group into smaller groups and have each of the smaller groups start at different points. With very large groups each individual could even start at a different cone.
Real World Example
There is a group of 16 athletes and the session is taking place in a park which includes a grass area enclosed by a gravel path. The perimeter of the park is about 200 meters.
The run leader creates the following list of exercises:
A set of 12 cones, coloured red, blue, green and white, are then distributed randomly around the perimeter of the park, a few meters inside the gravel path on the grass.
The 16 athletes are grouped into four smaller groups of four members each. Each mini-group starts at a different point around the loop.
The command to start is given and the athletes run anti-clockwise to the next cone in the loop. Once there they stop and perform 20 seconds of the exercise associated with that colour of cone.
The run leader indicates that exercise time is up by blowing a whistle and athletes immediately run to the next cone and complete 20 seconds of the exercise associated with that colour of cone.
Play continues for three minutes. The athletes have a 60 second recovery than complete another three minutes of play, this time running clockwise around the loop.
A third and fourth set are completed, but this time athletes are instructed to run with high knees between each cone.
Accommodate different abilities by offering different exercise options at each cone. One easier exercise and one harder.
Be sure to pick exercises that everybody can carry out fairly comfortably for 20 seconds. You'll get tired pretty quickly during this session
Since the activity involves a range of different exercises it's important to make sure before each exercise that everybody is comfortable performing it.
Remember to warm up before your session and cool down afterwards.