You may think that running is a sport that won’t require much technique. Though it may not be as technique-focused as other sports, it is nonetheless important to develop the proper techniques in running.
This way, you are far less likely to injure yourself.
One of the best methods of learning proper running techniques is to use running drills. These drills can enhance different aspects of your performance, such as boosting your speed.
As a result, you can massively improve your running performance through these simple running drills!
What Are Running Drills?
Running drills are a form of skill exercise. These drills are an excellent way of teaching valuable running skills, such as proper form.
Moreover, running drills can make someone a faster runner and can enhance their endurance.
If you are a runner, it’s a great idea to add these running drills to your routine. Ideally, you should complete these running drills after you have warmed up and before your running session.
Alternatively, you can use these drills during the middle of a run.
5 Running Drills To Improve Your Performance
These are 5 of the best running drills that can boost your performance, so we strongly urge you to give them a go:
1. High Knees
High knees are a popular cardio-intensive activity that is a great drill for a range of different exercises.
This is because the exercise activates several different muscles, such as your hamstrings, high flexors, glutes, calves, and quadriceps.
It will even strengthen your core, which will also be worked through running.
Through this drill, these muscles become more powerful. Not to mention, this drill can boost coordination, endurance, and balance. Additionally, high knees can be advantageous for speed.
Therefore, this drill won’t just help your running form, but it can also make you a faster runner.
To do this running drill, all you have to do is:
- Stand with your back straight. Your feet should be roughly shoulder-width apart.
- Gradually raise your right leg towards your chest. Remember to keep your shoulders straight. Though it’s easy to accidentally move your back and shoulders to make the exercise less challenging, this is not the proper form.
- As you raise your knee, also bend your arm upwards. This will help you to perfect the running form.
- Move your right leg back to the ground and raise your left leg toward your chest.
- Once you have become familiar with this drill, increase your speed. As you increase in confidence, you should be able to complete the high knees exercise at sprinting speed.
Carioca is one of the more complex running drills on this list. Therefore, it may take a little longer than some of the other exercises on this list to perfect.
But the truth is that the carioca drill can be extremely beneficial once you’ve got the hang of it.
The main purpose of this activity is to enhance your running technique and provide runners with a wider range of motions. This will primarily benefit your hips.
Not to mention, the coordination between your arms and your legs will be better.
These simple steps will allow you to complete the carioca drill:
- Stand sideways. This will indicate the direction that you move towards, so ensure that there is plenty of space. Your back should be straight and your legs should be aligned with your shoulders.
- Cross your right foot on top of the left. As a result, this will transfer your body weight to the ball of your foot.
- Move your leg so that you have been returned to the original position.
- Now move your right foot so that it is behind the left foot. Then, move the left leg so that it is toward the side.
- Repeat these steps as many times as you want!
3. “B” Skips
B skips are similar to high knees. Like this exercise, B skips can improve the flexibility of your leg muscles, specifically the hamstrings. Plus, it uses your ankles and hips.
The B skip drill is quite simple. All you need to do is:
- Standing with your back straight, face forwards. Your feet should be equal to your hips.
- Elevate your left leg so that it is level with your hip as you skip with your right foot.
- Lower your leg so that you paw at the ground with your foot.
- Switch sides so that you raise and extend your right leg whilst skipping with your left leg.
- Continuing moving and alternating your legs for as long as you desire.
4. Butt Kicks
Butt kicks are widely used by runners and other athletes. This is because they offer lots of advantages, including working the cardiovascular system.
The exercise is valuable for your glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
Unfortunately, many people inaccurately perform this running drill. To properly complete the butt kicks, simply use these handy instructions:
- Stand so that your arms are to the side and your feet are aligned with your hips.
- Contract the right hamstring muscle to carefully bring your right towards your buttocks.
- Return your right foot to the ground and instead contract your left hamstring. After your left heel has reached your buttock, place it back on the ground.
- Begin adding more speed to the exercise once you have perfected the technique.
5. Side-To-Side Skips
Running is a sport that primarily activates the sagittal plane. This concept is a way of dividing the human body. Since running involves moving forwards, the sagittal plane is activated.
Therefore, most of these drills will activate this plane.
However, side-to-side skips are a less well-known running drill that can activate the front plane.
Though the muscles in this plane of the body are less essential for running, they nonetheless are used as stabilisers.
As a result, they stabilise your body so that certain movements can be performed, such as running. Side-by-side skips will make these muscles more coordinated.
If you think that the side-to-side skip running drill will be beneficial for you as a runner, simply:
- Stand with your feet shoulders length apart.
- Move in a sideward motion, bringing your left foot toward your right foot or vice versa.
- As you skip, cross your arms in front of your body.
The Advantages Of Running Drills
As mentioned, running drills offer loads of benefits, such as:
- These exercises can strengthen muscles. Specifically, your hip flexors muscles will become stronger. Plus, leg and core muscles can also increase in strength.
- They can improve your coordination. Having a good balance is essential for running. This is because the proprioceptors located in your foot can detect changes in movement to make your running smoother. Moreover, brilliant balance will make you more confident as a runner, enabling you to make large strides.
- Muscle memory can be improved. The more you repeat motor tasks, the more these exercises become imprinted into your brain. Therefore, you will become increasingly better at these movements. Therefore, running drills can make you a more effective runner.
- Running movements will become automatic, thus heightening your technique.
- Your body can produce more oxygen while requiring less effort from your muscles. Therefore, your running will be more efficient.
- Some people even use running drills as warm-ups. These warm-up exercises will energize your cardiovascular system by increasing your body temperature.
If you want to become the best runner that you can be, these 5 fantastic running drills can be massively beneficial.
So the next time you are preparing for a marathon, why not give these drills a try?!