If you’re trying to improve your running times and get faster, interval workouts and tempo runs will certainly help you do just that. But have you also considered adding running drills to your training program? Running drills are a series of movements that focus on correct running technique, form, posture and acceleration. Exercises aim to improve your overall stride rate, stride frequency and speed, meaning that you learn to run more efficiently. A more efficient runner means less energy wasted, and the further and faster you can go with less effort. Add three of these drills to the beginning or end of a running session and aim to do them 2 to 3 times per week.
High knees drills will improve your knee lift, which is important for a fast and efficient hip drive to move forwards faster.
1. High Knees
High knees drills will improve your knee lift, which is important for a fast and efficient hip drive to move forwards faster. Do this drill by standing upright; start taking short steps forwards and drive one knee up until it’s parallel with your hip or waist. Quickly drop this leg back to the ground, landing on the ball of your foot. Switch knees, driving your opposite knee up parallel to hip joint. Continue alternating as you take short steps across a field for 10 to 15 high knees per side. Jog back to the start line and repeat twice more.
2. Butt Kicks
This drill may have a funny name but it’s an effective way to help you cross your next finish line with faster feet. Start upright with elbows bent by your sides. Keep your knees directly underneath your hips as you pick up your left foot and kick back and up to tap your butt. Quickly lower your left leg and lift your right foot to kick your right butt-cheek. Quickly alternate between feet as you move forwards at a steady pace for 15 to 20 kicks per leg. Jog back to the start and repeat two more times.
3. Hamstring Kicks
The hamstrings play a major role in running. Along with the glutes, the hamstrings extend the hip, that is they act to move your leg backwards after foot contact. The faster you can get your leg back and ready to drive forwards again, the faster you will run overall. Do this drill by standing tall with straight legs, hip-width apart. Kick one leg forwards, aiming to reach hip-height. Aim to keep knees extended. Reach forwards with your opposite hand to gently touch your foot. Lower arm and leg back down to the ground and repeat on the opposite side. Do this drill in a moving fashion so that you kick forwards for approximately 20 to 30 seconds before jogging back to the start. Complete 3 sets in total.