This is a good drill for improving both work capacity and speed-endurance (the ability to make repeated max or near-max efforts without slowing down). It uses a positive pyramid for the first half of the run and a negative pyramid for the second half. Use longer distances (100-200 yards) when working on aerobic capacity. Use moderate distances (50-75 yards) when working on stamina. And, use shorter distances (30-50 yards) when working on speed-endurance. To execute the drill, first decide on your goal and then mark off your distance (100 yards for pitchers; 60 yards for position players).
- A pitcher starts by striding down 100 yards at 80-85% of max speed, stops and walks back. This is “two legs,” i.e. down and back is two legs.
- After walking back, he strides two legs (200 yards; down and back) and walks a leg (100 yards).
- After walking back, he strides three legs (300 yards; down, back and down again) and walks a leg (100 yards).
- Next, he strides four legs (400 yards; down and back, down and back) and walks a leg (100 yards).
- At this point, the positive pyramid is finished. Now we reverse the pyramid by running three legs and walking one.
- Then run two legs and walk one.
- Finish by running one leg and walking one.
The run consists of 23 total legs. Sixteen (16) of the legs will be run and seven (7) will be walked. A 100-yard drill covers 2300 yards (1.3 miles). A 60-yard drill covers 1380 yards (.78 miles). This is a very time-efficient drill. If you run relatively hard, you can complete the longer run (1.3 miles) in 10-12 minutes and get a lot out of it. The 60-yard run should take no more than 7-8 minutes. The harder you run, the more you will get out of the drill.
Gene Coleman, Ed. D., RSCC-E, FACSM, was the Head S&C Coach for the Houston Astros from 1978-2012 and is currently a strength and conditioning consultant for the Texas Rangers and Professor in the Exercise and Health Sciences Program at the University of Houston – Clear Lake.