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Any ideas on a session I can do on an athletics track?

Any ideas on a session I can do on an athletics track for a senior team. It's the first session back after the Christmas break and we've got an important game coming up on Saturday if the weather holds up.

I have to say, what a great opportunity to be able to do some sessions on an athletic track, got instant points for measurement.

I'd start with a 5min team warm up of 1 lap inc. dynamic stretching.

After this, a 6 lap (1.5 mile) 'best time' run for all players. Last players should come in at about 13 mins.

Split backs and forwards. Sprint pyramid for backs and continuous 5m sprints for forwards.


  • 5 runs @20m
  • 4 @ 30
  • 3 @ 40
  • 2 @ 50
  • 1 @ 60
  • Then reverse order
  • 30s rest between sprints
  • 1 min rest after final sprint before a final 200 m endurance sprint

forwards (5m sprints):

  • start in plank position for every sprint
  • sprint up 5m then hold the line jogging backwards/sidewards
  • Inside player controls each 5m 'push' and calls the press only when ALL players in the plank position
  • Each lane is a metre wide so get the forwards running across the track rather than along it.
  • 1 min rest then 3 mins of 5m sprints with a change of direction to 8-10m

Both groups should finish up at roughly the same time. As with all strength and conditioning sessions, its important not to overdo it, but cover what I call 'game' distances. I know this sounds contradictory and players won't run a continuous 200m in a game, however, it is important to add at least 1 endurance sprint run to simulate extreme anaerobic capacity i.e. A 60m try in the dying seconds of a game!

Hope this helps!


If it's a one-off, it might be a perfect opportunity to 'teach' the players/check that the players know how to run. Set up a 50 metre stretch, and have them work along that area, looking at the way they run. This is a skill that is not taught at school these days, and so many get to adulthood not knowing the mechanics. If you have any know-how, run the session yourself, if not, try to find an athletics coach, and pay him/her for the session. I say this having watched Margot Wells work with a group of youngsters, and within 30 minutes, she had ironed out a number of obvious and not-so-obvious faults the players had. The main problem among rugby players is a failure to keep their body mass within the central core - which is where the power is. The players would learn, enjoy, and probably get more from such a session than simply running laps - which you can do next time (as there seems to be a next time coming up!).

Was you at the St Marys session too then Steve???

Personally, and this is coming from my experience as an ex army PTI, given the possibility of more track sessions, I would get the timed runs out of the way first, purely as a benchmarking session, before concentrating on running technique. The technique sessions then become part of the strategy for players to reach their goals and target times set from the first session.

I completely understood what Margot Wells was saying, but one of the things I picked up from her session at St Marys was that she said that its just as good (if not better) to teach rugby running technique on the rugby pitch as it is on the track.

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