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Are Running Drills Necessary

Are Running Drills necessary? 

Many athletes just lace up there shoes and head out the door for a run without much thought to their form, mechanics, or efficiency.  Drills are a way to improve or correct specific inefficiencies in running form and mechanics.  Drills are also an excellent way to do a dynamic or active warm up before harder more intense workouts or races.  Drills can also be incorporated after an easy recovery run.  Running drills can help improve your body’s coordination, balance, mobility, and range of motion.  By focusing on drills that address your weakness you can improve running strength.  Anyone looking to improve their run should incorporate drills into their weekly run training plans. 

Drills help to improve…

¨      Economy- Form

¨      Performance

¨      Injury Resilience

¨      Flexibility- range of motion

¨      Mobility

¨      Strength & Overall Conditioning

There are many running drills that can be performed.  If you have a specific weakness you may want to select drills that address that area.

Here are 8 drills that can be added to your run workouts.

1.        High Knees - lift knee up parallel to ground, other leg explodes off the ground with slight hop

2.      Butt Kicks - lift leg up with knee parallel to ground and foot coming up to butt (tuck foot up underneath leg)

3.       Skips - drive knee up parallel to ground, explode off the ground, go for height   exaggerate arm swing

4.      Skips - Same as above but go for distance (horizontal)   

5.      Grapevine or Karaoke - think fast feet, alternate crossing 1 foot in front of body then behind, keep posture upright with torso facing forward. Rotation comes from the hips.

6.      Straight Legs - run keeping legs straight, focus on quickly bringing legs back under body

7.      Backwards Run - keeping the same running form but run backwards

8.      British Soldiers - lift 1 leg straight out in front, keep knee straight, reach for foot with opposite hand, take a step repeat with other leg

Lorrie Beck- YBFIT.com     ybfitlbeck@comcast.net