Runners are always looking for ways that they can get better. Here are some simple and easy to follow running drills to help you achieve your running goals. Running drills yield runners a long list of benefits including improved strength, speed, balance, coordination and muscle firing. Running drills are a series of repeated and often exaggerated movements that help to improve many aspects of running technique and therefore lead to overall improvements in running economy.
The aim of this drill is to increase leg turnover and improve your knee lift for when you need to pick up the pace a bit.
Start off jogging slowly, when you hit the point where you want to start your drill, increase your stride rate so that you take as many steps as possible over about 20 meters or so with a high knee action. You should be bringing your legs up in front of you and maintaining a nice upright posture. The aim is not to move forward quickly but to maximize the number of steps that you take; remember this one is about leg turnover not stride length.
You should feel this one in the front of you hips and thighs (hip flexors) as they will be working hard to lift your legs up in front of you. Do a few quad stretches after this one to loosen things up.
This is a drill that improves your running cadence by teaching your leg muscles (hamstrings most) to fire faster and feet to turnover quicker. A quick cadence is a shorter stride with minimum ground time. Efficient runners have short quick strides regardless of pace.
Minimum ground time helps your running form by getting your feet up quickly under your butt which discourages over-striding and heel striking.
This drill will help you find your rhythm in running. Furthermore, this is a great drill to perform following your warm-up jog before you step on the start line.
Focus your efforts on staying light on your feet by getting off the ground as quickly as possible. Get up on your toes and stay there. Over-exaggerate the arm swing by popping your elbows back and swinging from your shoulders.
The B-Skip requires that you remain on your toes with your hips in a neutral position so that your knee can reach the optimal height before extending your leg out. When extending your leg, be mindful that you are not simply kicking your leg out. Your foot should remain dorsi-flexed (toe up), while you deliberately clear the imaginary hurdle in front of you. Lastly, ensure that your foot strikes the ground under your center of gravity so to propel yourself forward not upward.
A special thanks to Coach Wil Tejada of Team WilPower for demonstrating how to perform these running drills. You can follow Coach Wil on Instagram @Wil_Power Fitness and Twitter @WilpowerNYC. Visit his blog at http://wilpowerfitness.wordpress.com/.