Running Drills

Running drills are an important component of training, especially if you are new to the sport, in order to improve technique, coordination, speed, and economy.  The exercises include exaggerated components of a running stride that activate both primary and stabilizing muscles in all planes.


KICK/KICKING- When a workout description has “kicks” or “kicking” in the title, finish the marked intervals with an all-out sprint.

HIGH KNEES- Taking short to medium length strides, drive your leading knee up high enough so that your thighs are parallel to the ground. If you can bring it up higher, all the better. Do the same with your alternate leg and repeat. Focus on executing the form, not on doing this at a quick pace.

BUTT KICKS- The goal of this drill is to pull your heels up to your butt (glutes), just as it sounds. Take short to medium length strides while using your hamstrings to bring your heels all the way back to your glutes. If you find that your quads are too tight and you can’t quite get your heels all the way back, we recommend stretching your quads to increase your range of motion.

CARIOKA- This drill requires you to move laterally, so you will need to face sidewise to your intended direction. For the purpose of the description, we’ll have you move to the right, but we expect you to complete the Carioka drill in both directions. Begin with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Drive your left leg up and across your body and plant your left leg right adjacent to your right foot. Step your right foot to the right so it is parallel with your left leg again (at this point you should be positioned in the same direction and orientation that you were at the start).

Next, swing your left leg behind your right leg, again so it lands on the right side of your right leg. Then bring your right leg back across your body, once again ending up in the starting position. This is 1 rep. Complete 5-10 reps and then reverse direction (and legs) and do the same number of reps on the return.

STRIDES- A stride is a steady acceleration of speed over 60-80m above threshold pase. The goal is to increase speed after each step, so you are reaching maximum speed at the end of the 60-80m stretch. Focus on keeping your shoulders, neck, and jaw relaxed and combine it with your controlled running form. After each set, walk back to your starting point for recovery.

SKIPPING- Yes, just like when you were a kid! Except now you want to focus on swinging your arms at your sides like you would when running, not across your body like most kids do when they skip.


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