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Group Running Exercises

author image Jill Dombrauckas, Ph.D.
Jill Dombrauckas currently writes for a biotech company in San Diego. Her work is published in scientific journals such as Biochemistry and medical websites such as Genetic Engineering News and Medical News Today. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Dayton and Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Group Running Exercises
Group running on path in park Photo Credit ajkkafe/iStock/Getty Images


Running provides a glorious excuse to get outdoors and obtain exercise. Add a few friends to your workout, and your routine runs can become more entertaining and challenging. Group participation can enhance motivation as well as push you to keep up with the pack. Create a more diverse workout when you run with others by incorporating interactive running exercises.

Chain Runs

This running technique requires the runners to line up in a single file and run one in front of the other. The whole group continues to run in this manner at a consistent pace. The person that is last in the line steps out of line and increases her speed to pass everyone in line. Then that runner falls into place as the leader of the pack and resume the average speed. The average speed should be comfortable for everyone participating. When each person races from the back of the line to the front, they temporarily increase the intensity of their workout. Interval training such as this can enhance the workout instead of maintaining just one consistent pace.

Relay Runs

A traditional relay run can be set up in various ways. If you are in a park or area with a loop, the group can form teams and have each individual run the loop before tagging the next team member to run the same loop. The teams can compete to finish first. Other relay options can include dispersing team members along the running route, so that each person runs a different leg of the overall route. This is particularly useful for long runs such as marathons where you work together as a team to complete the smaller portions with different individuals.


Intense sprinting drills, suicides require setting out multiple markers in a line. You run to each marker, return to the start and proceed to the next marker -- and so on until you've completed all the markers and return to the starting line. A set of these runs may vary depending on how far and how many markers have been placed. When working out with others, you can divide the group into two. The first group will do the suicide runs first, then rest and recuperate while the second group takes its turn to run. Repeat this cycle several times so each group rests briefly while the other group is running. This keeps you from taking extended breaks and keeps the groups going constantly.

Delay Runs

To push the pace and competitive nature of the group, you can perform delay runs. Set up a long or short course with a finish line. The first runner begins and the second runner refrains from starting until a certain delay period passes. The goal is for the second runner to try to catch the first runner before the finish line. The first runner is pressured to keep a fast pace, while the second runner must press forward as hard as possible to catch him. This makes it challenging and competitive for both runners.

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