3 Drills to Improve Running Stride and Speed


The sport of running seems pretty simple on the surface.  You might think that all you need is a good pair of shoes and the open road but as I mentioned in my previous post, there’s a bit more that goes into the sport of running.

No, I am not talking about all the fancy gadgets and gear (although that’s fun too), I’m referring to the mechanics of running and the importance of mobility. 

Being fast and strong requires mobility and full range of motion.  Last week, I outlined progressions of two different functional hip mobility exercises using the Ultimate Sandbag Core Bag that you should be including as part of your warm-up.  

Today, I’ll be sharing three different drills that you can incorporate into your routine following those mobility drills that will help to not only improve your running stride but also your running mechanics and speed.

3 Running Drills to Help Improve Both Stride and Speed

By incorporating the hip mobility exercises and these drills into your routine, it will help you to increase full you extension with one leg at the hip while reaching flexion with the other which equates to better form and faster speed.

3 Running Drills to Help Improve Both Form and Speed

High Knees

Benefits: Forces hip flexors to drive knees up.

How to perform:  Drive your knee to up toward your chest while bouncing off your toes.  As you drive one knee high, bounce off the toe off the opposite leg.  Keep foot in a dorsi-flexed position (flat, not pointed), making sure not to land on your heel.  Perform for about 20 meters. 

 Skipping

Benefits: Improves running coordination and push off power.

You might also like:  Wild Workout Wednesday: Marathon Training Check In

How to perform: Like high knees, you will keep your foot dorsi-flexed.  Use your arms to drive you forward in a quick, powerful skipping motion focusing on height of each skip, concentrating on the push-off. Perform for about 20-30 meters.

Acceleration Wall Drill

Benefits: Reinforces acceleration and drive for maximum speed.

How to perform: Lean on a wall, fence or other fixed object and lean at a diagonal angle so that your ears, shoulders, hips and knees are in a straight line. Drive one knee up off the ground keeping the shin parallel to the body then switch.  Beginners can start by hold this posture for about 15 seconds then progress to marching (holding the same position) and then singles or alternating with quick drives.  Be sure to maintain the tall posture and finish strong.

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About me

Annmarie is a self proclaimed foodie, avid long distance runner and functional fitness coach. A DVRT Master Trainer, HKC Instructor and food allergy sufferer, she writes about strength training for runners as well as shares allergy friendly recipes for busy athletes.   She is also the owner of Strength In Motion Studio, mother of two sassy sisters and wife to a chronically busy chiropractor.   Subscribe by email for updates to get the latest workouts, advice and recipes straight to your inbox!

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