By: Dr. Derek J. Mohr & Dr. J. Scott Townsend, Appalachian State University
In our last blog, iRun 101, we outlined the scientific training principles, fitness guidelines, and training methods used to help students create individualized training programs, be active on a regular basis at an appropriate level, and achieve their personal fitness goals. Today we will extend the conversation, focusing on how the SPARK HS iRun unit specifically applies these principles, guidelines and methods.
The SPARK iRun unit is a fitness-based unit designed to promote personal health, fitness and running performance. This unit challenges students to create a personalized aerobic training program based on their personal fitness level and goals.
iRun in SPARK High School PE
iRun is the latest SPARK HS PE program web unit and can accessed on SPARKfamily.com. iRun is considered a hybrid unit, combining aspects of both integrated fitness and games-based units in one. iRun is similar in structure to group fitness units (implements SPARK Fitness Instructor Certification and includes Basic Training and Create Your Own lesson formats) and uses lesson formats from games-based units (Personal Best, Fun-day-mentals Jigsaw, Adventure Race, Event). This unit draws on the best of both unit types to create an inspiring and supportive atmosphere where each student’s goal is to be their personal best.
iRun is comprised of user-friendly activity plans, instructional materials and assessments. iRun addresses SHAPE Standards 1-5.
SPARK iRun Activity Plans follow a step-by-step process to ensure students and teachers are successful.
Step 1. Design – Students work individually or in similar fitness level groups to master aerobic training methods by creating personalized training programs to improve their current fitness levels.
Step 2. Practice & Refine – Students perform their personal workouts and adjust as necessary based on training principles and fitness guidelines.
Step 3. Compete – The unit culminates with a race (5k or other distance determined by teacher and students) where students are challenged to set and meet or beat their own personal goal time.
SPARK provides all necessary resources to support the successful implementation of activity plans.
- Content Cards – Defines components of health-related fitness, training methods and running form.
- Scorecards – Organizes multiple team scores and collects running times on one page.
- Workout Wristbands – Daily workout plan designed to be worn on student’s wrist, which provides quick and easy access to pacing information.
- Racing Bibs – Pre-made racing numbers for use in culminating event.
Authentic Assessment: Create a Program
In SPARK iRun, students are challenged to create a program that includes continuous, interval and circuit training workouts. Students create this personalized program by applying fundamentals mastered in basic training instruction. As part of the process, students practice, refine and, if they choose, lead classmates through their created workouts. iRun Create a Program focuses on SHAPE Standards 4 and 5.
iRun Teaching Tips
- Utilize iRun Pace Chart to ensure accurate calculations as students develop workout pace.
- Make sure students are racing the clock, not each other.
- Encourage students to drink water before, during and after a run to ensure proper hydration.
- Remind students to modify their programs as they become increasingly fit.
- SPARK High School PE Curriculum & Training
- Shield Dr. Curt Hinson’s Circuit Training Pyramids, Set of 6
- Everlast Full StartFit System
- Lifespan Treadmill Desk TR7000i
- Stopwatches and Heart Rate Monitors
Share Your Knowledge
Have you used a unit similar to iRun? What’s your experience? Any tips or hints you could share? Post a response below and let us know!
Current SPARKfamily members with High School access can find the new iRun unit under High School Web-Based Units. If you are not a current SPARK family member, you will receive 3-year access to the digital content when you purchase a SPARK High School curriculum set.