I have been doing running drills ever since I was a kid. I was never gifted with natural speed or running technique as a young man so the drills I practiced weekly with my athletics group enable me to become more efficient over time and develop my speed.
Not only are running drills useful for preparing the body for the demands of a workout, more importantly they challenge our coordination, balance, muscle recruitment and refine our movement patterns. It's in these areas that we begin to become more efficient runners.
Ankle Flicks - designed to assist range of movement at the ankle, improving ground reactivity in each stride, speed of our stride movement and strength in the lower leg.
March - improves balance and coordination while replicating the running stride, important to focus on good posture and tracking of the legs in forward movement.
A Skip - An extension of the march, adding a hop between each stride. The movement becomes more dynamic, aims to improve stride speed, feet should land under your bodies centre of gravity.
B Skip - An extension of the A Skip, adding an extension of the leg after lifting the knee during each stride. The movement aims to helps improve the speed of bringing your foot back down to the ground under your bodies centre of gravity.
C Skip - An extension of the A Skip, lifting your knee out to a 45 degree angle on each stride. The movement becomes more dynamic, recruits the adductors and requires additional balance
Heel Flicks (+ Lazy Heel Flicks) - The purpose is to improve foot speed, aiming to hold posture and tracking while moving forward slowly, trying to complete fast feet movement.
**Lazy Heel Flicks add a steep between each fast lift of the heel to improvement coordination and focus on individual foot speed without the momentum of continuous heel flicks.
High Knees (+ Lazy High Knees) - The purpose is to improve foot speed, aiming to hold posture and tracking while moving forward slowly, trying to complete fast feet movement lifting the knees to 90 degrees, try not to lean back.
**Lazy High Knees add a steep between each fast lift of the knee to improvement coordination and focus on individual foot speed without the momentum of continuous high knees.
Grapevine (+ High Knee Grapevine) - This challenges coordination and recruits muscles responsible for lateral movement that support and stablise our normal running movement. Essentially it is a movement where you cross your legs in front and then behind the other as you move laterally.
**High Knee Grapevine adds a high knee to each stride that is taken in front of the body, challenges balance and coordination, improves recruitment of stabilising muscles in the upper leg.