Running drills are important because they strengthen your weaknesses and teach your body to work harder, stronger and more efficiently than before. It doesn’t matter if you’re running for fun or if you’re looking to run faster and stronger, running drills are not just for elite athletes – everyone should be doing them.

How Often Should You Do Running Drills?
Once or twice a week is sufficient and they won’t even take too much time. You can do the drills as an independent workout after a warm-up, or as part of prep work before a full, longer run. The drills look painless and easy, but they’ll be different than what your body is used to, so you may find yourself sore in different places. However, the drills will start to feel easier and you’ll begin to recover faster the more you do them.

What to Focus on During the Drills
Focus on your form and completing the drill correctly. If you start to get too tired to stay in good form, stop the drill and take a break. Start with only a couple drills and once you have those drills mastered, add new drills to your program. Continue challenging yourself by adding new drills or doing the drill on a slight uphill. Then you’ll not only have to focus on your running form, but also on keeping a slight lean forward.

Here are 5 different running drills to try that will change your running:

  1. Running backwards
    Running backwards is great for strengthening your glutes, hamstrings, core and lower back. It will also improve your posture, power and balance.  It’s best to do this on a track when there are no people around so you don’t bump into anyone. This drill can be awkward at first, but focus on running with the same technique you use when you run forward.  Run for 30 seconds, take a break, and then repeat a few times.
  2. High Knees
    High knees will help strengthen your lower legs while also improving power and stability. This drill is just what it says – running with high knees. Basically, exaggerating your running stride and driving your leg up to waist height, keeping the opposite leg straight. This drill will improve your running form and teach your body to have a better technique.
  3. Skipping
    This drill will improve bounce and help you work on your push. After lifting the knee, focus on landing the foot effectively. Do 25 meters at a time, take a break, and then repeat a couple of times.  The key to this drill is to get the height in the skip, not distance.
  4. Lunges
    Lunges are a great strengthening drill that can also improve balance and flexibility, and your running technique. You can either do them as a single movement or by holding the lunge position, maintaining good balance and posing in a run-like position. In the beginning, do 5-10 lunges per leg, adding reps as you decide to challenge yourself.
  5. Butt Kicks
    Engage your hamstrings and loosen the quads with butt kicks. They also promote quick turnover.  Use short steps, lift your knees slightly and try to bring your heel directly under your butt (not behind) with each step.  Alternate legs quickly, focusing on a quick turnover.  Do two 20-meter reps, moving up to 30-meter reps and you get more coordinated.

For a downloadable file of different types of running workouts to add into your training program, click here:  Running Workouts.  Need help mastering your running technique, speed or just want more tips?  Contact me today so I can help you reach your training goals!

Train Right, Tri Right!

Coach MJ

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