Have you been running regularly but had no success beating your PR from your last marathon running event? Consistently covering a particular mileage every alternate day will only take you so far. If you are stuck at the same pace and speed, your training plan needs something important: running drills. Practicing these exercises can help you become a faster, stronger, and more efficient runner.
Whether you are into road or trail running, Brooks Running has six running drills to help you step up your game.
The top six most effective running drills
- High Knees
To perform this drill, raise your knees to your waist or above while running and synchronize your hand moments. It helps strengthen the core and lower-body muscle group, boost cardiovascular fitness, and improve running form.
- A-Skip and B-Skip
A-skips and B-skips are variations of high knees that specifically target the glutes and hamstrings. When doing A-skip, skip forward with high knees, while if you are performing B-skip, do the same and extend your lower leg after lifting your knee.
- Butt Kicks
Butt kicks involve running while pushing your legs back and kicking your heels on your butt. It is another powerful workout that engages your hamstrings and glutes to help you run faster. Besides that, it can get your heart pumping fast and improve your hip flexor and quadricep flexibility.
- Straight Leg Run
Keep your upper body upright, swing your arms, and run forward while stretching your legs straight ahead without bending your knees. In addition to giving your hamstrings a good stretch, it promotes a midfoot strike which is essential for running efficiently and preventing injuries.
Browse Brooks Running road running or treadmill running shoes for men and women.
- Side Shuffle
To begin this agility drill, keep your feet hip-width apart, outstretch your arms, and quickly shuffle sideways from right to left and then back. You can learn to stabilize and balance your body, especially when running fast or trail running.
- Reverse Running
Run, but backward. It's way more challenging than running forwards but has umpteen benefits if you are training for a marathon running race. You can improve your balance, posture, strength, and cardiovascular endurance. Plus, it can help you burn 30% more calories than regular running.
FAQs on running drills
- How often should I perform running drills?
It would help if you aimed for one-two running drills sessions weekly, ensuring a gap of 24-48 hours of recovery time between sessions.
How long should each running drill session be?
You can start with 10-20 mins drills if you are a beginner. Once you master the proper techniques, you may increase the duration.
- How many reps should I do?
Aim for 2-3 reps of 10-20 meters of each drill. Take a break of 30 secs between each exercise.
- When should I do running drills?
You can do them after your warm-up routine, including stretching and light jogging. Another way is to incorporate them in the middle or towards the end of your run.
- Where should I do the running drills?
Do them on flat, shock-absorbing surfaces like rubber running tracks, dirt paths, or grass. Avoid road running as the hard surface can cause injuries.
- When will I see the results of the running drills?
If you are regular with your marathon running training plan, you can expect results in a couple of weeks to two months. Nevertheless, the point is to continue these drills for as long as you plan to run unless anything is causing discomfort or pain.
- Will I be sore after doing running drills?
You can expect muscle soreness, especially if you have just begun the running drills. Proper rest, good nutrition, and warm-up and cool-down are essential to relieving pain after the workout.