Coach Mike Broderick
In an earlier article we talked about adding some "Stride outs" to a couple of your weekly easy runs to help with improving running mechanics and efficiency. Today we’ll add a few new drills which you can add to your regular training program to improve your running form. Try adding a session of these drills to your weekly running schedule, in addition to the Stride Outs, and you may find that your running becomes easier and your race times become faster.
Each of the drills should be done for a distance of 25-50 meters per individual repetition, and should be repeated 2 to 4 times per session. A track is an ideal place to do these, but a flat stretch of road or a level grassy area will work just fine.
1. High Knees
These are just what they sound like. Run forward while taking short steps and driving your knees skyward with each stride. Don't be concerned about your speed. Rather, focus on lifting your knees high while keeping your torso tall. This drill will strengthen your hip flexor muscles and calves, improve your push-off power and your running posture
2. Butt Kicks
These are essentially the opposite of high knees in that you're doing an exaggerated back kick in which you try to kick your own butt with the heel with each stride. Again the focus is not on forward speed and you should take short steps with a focus on the form and keeping your torso tall during the drill. This drill stretches out your quadriceps and strengthens your hamstring muscles.
3. High Skipping
That’s right-skipping just like when you were a kid. In this drill you want to swing your arms strongly and skip as high as you can. Like running, remember to swing the opposite arm from the leading leg. Skipping will help to improve your coordination and add some explosive power to your running stride.
4. Stiff-Legged Running
Run keeping your knees as straight as possible. You’ll be running like the Rockettes, kicking your legs up straight ahead of you. This drill will strengthen the hip flexors