VLOG 2: Challenging tradition: making running fun and educational

Examples of activities and tasks are given as to how to make running (or cross country running) engaging and relevant to young peoples lives. It challenges the traditional focus of running that is based on ‘just the physical’ and shows how learning can be developed in the physical, social, cognitive and affective domains through adapted tasks e.g. the selfie running task & the F1 Tag Relay

I would like to thank Mark Bowler (https://twitter.com/Health_Based_PE) and Ian Roberts (https://twitter.com/coach2thestars) who taught me these tasks and challenged my thinking about how to teach running in physical education.

I would also like to thank the students involved in this video

Finally, the research paper about ‘what students are tweeting about in PE’ can be found here http://goo.gl/FAmBYn.

Casey, A., Hill, J., & Goodyear, V.A. (2014). “PE doesn’t stand for physical education. It stands for public embarrassment”: voicing experiences and proffering solutions to girls’ disengagement in physical education. In S.Barnard, A Tischler, & S Sanders (Eds.), Sociocultural issues in physical education: case studies for teachers (pp. 37-53).

7 thoughts on “VLOG 2: Challenging tradition: making running fun and educational”

  1. Excellent VLOG Vicky and has challenged my way of thinking about delivering running, particularly with my KS3 groups. I’m probably one of the those ‘traditional’ teachers that solely focuses on the physical side, forgetting how social it can be. Both myself and my partner are runners and its when we go out together at the weekend, we have some of our deepest conversation. The F1 idea is something I might try to play around with in the future, but I will now go into planning running activities with the social element in my mind. This an excellent start to your series, and I’m looking forward to the next. Due to the physical nature of our subject, written words don’t always do it justice, it does seem that Vlogging might be a perfect platform. I admire your courage because I know I wouldn’t have the guts to put myself on screen. Thanks for your hard work. This endeavour deserves to have a wide audience and be successful.


  2. Thanks for your comment @IMSPORTICUS and I am glad that you can see the connection between PE and the social side of running. To be honest VLOGGING in a challenge and it is definitely something that is pushing me out of my comfort zone. Would love to hear how your running lessons go 🙂


  3. Some great ideas here for engaging those who would traditionally be turned off by running. Two weeks ago I was teaching an Athletics module to some undergraduates and thought it may be useful to add a couple more ideas here (I will definitely be borrowing the selfie run and F1 so thought a trade would be fair).

    As a runner myself I religiously track all my training using a GPS watch, I find it a great help to track my progress and make sure my training paces are hit accurately. This got me thinking how could I utilise a motivating factor like this in my teaching, so I asked all my students to download a GPS tracking app to their smartphones. There are several free ones (mapmyrun, runkeeper, I like personally like Strava due its social media element), within a lesson I ask my students to track themselves running around the school site (this could be as part of another task e.g. Selfie/F1), it’s amazing for them to see actually how far they run, within 15 minutes of my lesson most of the group had run over a mile. What’s great is instead of running around a track or set course the students can run anywhere, this eliminates being able to see who is first and last which traditionally disengages weaker runners. Add to this a task where I challenge the students to write some key words/or draw a picture using their GPS trace and you have some awesome engaging tasks that be completed as a group or individual. For the competitive runners Strava allows you to create segments and league tables from your runs, so you can set a target for a lap of the school field (or any other course) and allow students to virtually race one another. It would be great to hear any other ideas for using GPS in lessons.

    A second idea links to the F1 idea but takes on a Grand National theme so combining running and jumping (for height, distance and precision – take off and land on specific areas). We set up a course using a range of equipment (tyres, hurdles, splats, SAQ etc), it seems with the popularity of Mudrunner type events and obstacle races that we can actually detract the focus from running and provide more engaging fun activities with obstacles (10 obstacles spaced out across a km course). This way students focus on the obstacles rather than 100m run between each one, allowing students to design their own obstacles also brings in a creative element.

    Thanks for the ideas Vicky, I will be following the series with interest.


    1. Hi Jordan
      Some great idea sharing here. I’ve used run keeper with the students doing some of these activities too, and they had a similar reaction. I also really like the Mudrunner idea too. Interestingly I was in a presentation by Lisa OKeefe from Sport England yesterday and she was talking about the relationship of some of the activities we do in PE to Tough Mudder etc and how further links could be made. With that in mind I suppose we just need to really think about the transfer of what we do, whether thats with technology (which the tracking advices are sure to advance) but also with the types of things adults and students parents might be doing.
      Thanks for sharing ideas, and yours have given me a few more that I might try out in my lessons in the coming weeks 🙂


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