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Acceleration Strides

Why: Reinforce cadence regardless of pace/speed
How: Warm up with 2 to 5 minutes of easy running. You may also do these drills after your daily workout. Begin by performing a slow jog. Gradually increase your speed to 100 percent effort. The total distance run should be around 100 meters. Jog easy for 100 meters and repeat. Be sure to steadily and gradually increase your speed over the entire distance. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Effort Strides

Why: Reinforce pacing efforts
How: Warm up with 2 to 5 minutes of easy running. You may also do these drills at the end of your daily workout. Begin by performing a slow jog. Gradually increase your speed to about 90 percent effort in the first third of the total distance. The total distance run should be around 100 meters. Maintain a 90 percent effort through the second third of the stride and gradually slow down to a jog during the last third of the stride. Jog easy for 100 meters and repeat. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Quick Feet/High Knee Drill Technique

Why: Reinforce high cadence and reducing foot contact with the ground by teaching your leg muscles (hamstrings mostly) to fire faster and feet to turnover quicker. Quick cadence is shorter stride with minimum ground time. Efficient runners have short quick strides regardless of pace. Minimum ground time helps your running form by getting your feet up quickly under your butt which discourages over-striding and heel striking.

How: Start by performing a slow jog. Using a short stride and bouncing on your toes, raise your knees as high as possible on each stride. Concentrate on decreasing the time of contact between your foot and the ground. As soon as your foot hits the ground, quickly spring if off of the ground and into the high knee position. There will be little forward distance covered, but keep moving forward. Repeat for 30 to 50 meters. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Quick Stride Drill

Why: Reinforce high foot turnover/cadence.

How: Begin by performing a slow jog. Increase your stride rate so that you are taking as many strides as possible in 25 meters. Concentrate on foot speed and quickness. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Ankling

Why: teaches correct footstrike mechanics and increases stride rate

How: using a quick and very short stride, strike the ground at the forefoot and fold the foot down to the surface from toe to heel, with the heel reclining to the ground momentarily before popping up to start a new stride. Take small steps with minimal knee lift and minimal time spent on the ground, as if the surface below you is very hot.

Ankle Springs

Why: improves footstrike mechanics and creates a bouncier stride

How: using a short stride, jog forward with a lightly bouncy movement that emphasizes landing near the ball of the foot with a level footstrike. Make sure you’re leaning forward slightly from the ankles and that your feet are striking the ground underneath your center of mass (hips). Your short steps should create a light springing effect, nor a forceful pushing sensations, and that momentum will carry you forward.

Arm Pull Backs

Why: develops a compact arm swing and helps create the tempo and rhythm of a high running cadence

How: with a level head, level shoulders, and a straight and slightly forward-leaning posture, jog forward while alternately pushing your arms backward as they are held at 90 degrees (or less). Concentrate on pulling your upper arm

backward by contracting the muscles around the shoulder blades. Keep your arms swinging in a plane parallel to your torso and do not rotate your body to assist the movement.

High Knees

Why: teaches powerful and efficient forward leg drive and a bouncier footstrike

How: with a slight forward lean from the ankles, alternate pushing off the ground with one leg and thrusting the knee of the other leg upward and forward until your lifted thigh is parallel to the ground. Exaggerate horizontal leg position to develop the strength and endurance of your upper thighs and hip flexors. Be sure to focus on soft, flat footstrikes near the ball of your foot. While letting gravity bring the leg back down, also focus on using your core to lower your leg down slowly instead of letting it crash to the ground. High knees drills compliment the quick feet drill since the hip flexors and upper thighs are responsible for bringing your leading leg up from the support position to the next step.

Butt Kickers

Why: accentuate the recovery portion of the running gait phase and improve leg turnover cadence.

How: run in place with your thighs more or less locked in a neutral position and try to kick yourself in the glute with your heel on each stride. If you’re not making contact, you need to improve your dynamic range of motion.

Heel Slides

Why: Reinforce foot placement under the hips (center of gravity)

How: Begin by performing a slow jog. Using a short stride and bouncing on your toes, raise your heels as high as possible but do not allow your heels to travel behind your body. Imagine a wall at your back. Bring your heels back so that your feet are flat against the imaginary wall and bring them up as high as possible. Your heels should nearly reach your buttocks. Both upper and lower leg action is involved in this exercise. There should be little forward distance covered, but keep moving forward. Repeat for 30 to 50 meters. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Gum Scrape

Why: Reinforce correct foot placement under the hips and using the thigh to pull the leg up rather than pushing off with the back toe

How: Stand on one leg. With the other scrape the bottom of the other foot on the ground as if you are trying to get a piece of gum off the bottom of that shoe. Motion should be contained from the front to back of the standing leg’s foot. As you reach the back of the standing leg’s foot pull up with the thigh – don’t push off with the toe – to finish the motion.

Toe Up Run

Why: Reinforce correct foot placement under the hip; also to help shorten your stride to maintain (or increase) cadence

How: Start with an easy jog using your normal gait. After about 10 yards, run with the toes pulled up in the toe box of one foot. Concentrate on the pulling motion of the thigh and using gravity to place that foot back down under the hip.

Straight Leg Run - "Gotta Go" Drill

Why: Reinforce the pull through motion of your stride; using the thigh to pull through vs. pushing off with the toe of the back foot

How: Run with arms by your side or out front (for balance) and straight legs. Concentrate on pulling the legs out in front as quickly as possible by using the thigh and NOT pushing off with the toe at all.

Front Bench Kicks

Why: Promote high turnover by reducing the time the foot stays on the ground

How: Facing a bench place one foot on it. Weight will remain mainly in the standing leg as you push off with it kicking it behind you toward the glute, and returning it to the ground. You want to use the core to control the foot’s return to the ground so that it does not slam down. Repeat on other side.

Back Bench Kicks

Why: Promote high turnover and correct foot placement under the hips

How: Facing away from a bench, place one foot on it. Weight will remain mainly in the standing leg as you push off with it and return it to the ground. The heel should try to hit under the glute as in the heel slide drill. Again, use the core to control the foot’s return to the ground so that it does not slam down. Repeat on other side.

Squat Jumps (Froggies or Frog Jumps)

Why: Another plyometric running drill that helps strengthen the glutes, quads, calves, ankles and muscles of the foot. It also promotes support and flexibility in the ankles as well as opens up your hips. With so many benefits, Frog jumps are really a great use of your training time!

How: With feet shoulder-width apart and nice posture, squat straight down and put your arms straight up as if you were reaching for the sky. Launch yourself upwards and forwards as your arms swing down along your sides. Land back down into a squat with your arms up in the air and repeat.

Additional Drills

QUASIMOTO RUN

QUICK FEET/DIRECTION CHANGE

SINGLE LEG HOP

DOUBLE LEG HOP

LATERAL BOUND

Sample Drill Exercises

5 mins high cadence forefoot running (us toe up drill if necessary)

5x Quick feet drill for 20 secs, recovery jog for 40 secs

5x (20 secs high knee drill (keep a high cadence and slow pace) followed by 40 secs recovery jog).

5x (20 long strides followed by 1 min recovery jog). Really work on getting knees up and cover some distance ea stride.

3x 15 one legged squats on both sides then recovery jog for 1 minute before next round.

5 mins easy jog to W/D

Dynamic Warm Up Moves

-Knee to chest (alt sides walking)

-Skips (low to the ground)

-Skipping for height

-Backwards run

-Straight-legs (gotta go!)

-Walking hurdles

-Walking on toes

-Walking on heels

-Hand walk (inchworm)

-Carioca (grapevine)

-Side shuffle (ea. direction)

-Side shuffle get lower

-Bounding

-Arm swings

-Arm circles

-Arm reaches (to the sky)

-Scarecrow

-Leg swings- front to back

-Leg swings- lateral

-Leg swings- front to back knee bent

-Knee highs (running)

-Knee to chest jumps

-Hamstring kick-outs

-Toy Soldier

-Butt kickers

-Walking lunges