Obstacle Course Run
Description of Activity
An obstacle course can be utilized for any size group and to supplement an obstacle course with another activity to eliminate inactive time experienced by the participants. Try to maximize the amount of physical activity experienced by the participants in the short time session that you have. That being said, obstacle courses are great vehicles for testing running mechanics and revealing mechanical flaws or weaknesses in the running technique of athletes. Below are a few obstacle course stations that can be utilized:
Zig-Zag cones- Cones should be set up in a zig-zag formation with the line continuing to move in a forward progression. Have participants shuffle throughout the drill from start to finish. Focus on having the participants complete the drill without shuffling outside of their frame. This will cause them to become off-balanced and fall.
Step/Speed Ladder- Numerous drills can be utilized with the step/speed ladder such as linear runs, high knees, lateral quick steps, in & out, lateral shuffle drill, single-leg hop, etc. All of such measure quickness and footwork. However, an emphasis should be on arm swings and heel strike and recovery. When completing the exercises the foot should not strike the ground flat footed, knees should be high, and arms should be swinging at the appropriate tempo.
Hula Tires- This will simulate a tire agility ladder. 12-16 hula hoops would be ideal. Really emphasize knee drive, heel recovery, and arm swings.
3 Cone Drill- Set up three cones in the shape of a 90 degree right angle. Participants will start at one of the outermost cones. Participants will run up to the nearest cone, touch the ground, return to the starting cone, touch the line, then run to the furthest cone utilizing the same route previously explained (start line to middle cone, make the turn to go to the furthest cone by taking the outside corner of the cone, touch the line at the furthest cone and retrace your route to return to the start/finish line). This drill measures agility, quickness, and stride. Runners should not make strides outside of their frame. This will make them off-balanced and will slow down their time.
Equipment needed is dependent upon the drills set up. Cones, a speed ladder, and hula hoops would be sufficient for the previously mentioned drills.
Obstacle courses can be scaled and modified in numerous ways but it is largely dependent upon the equipment at your disposal. Set your course based upon the running components that you want to test and measure.