Tuesday, April 24, 2018

9 Running Drills to Make you a Better, Stronger Runner

Transitioning to forefoot running takes time because you often have to reteach your muscles how to function while out on a run. Running drills focused on forefoot running can aid in the transition because they force your muscles to repeat these functions in various ways to build strength and muscle memory.

I've found a few running drills to begin incorporating into warm-ups before starting my runs. They focus a lot on getting used to how it should feel to have a forefoot strike as well as focusing on balance.

9 Running Drills for Better Running

Good balance is key to successful forefoot running because all the action takes place in front of your body. Good balance will keep you upright, stable, and less likely to face plant. 😜

Some of the videos below demonstrating these drills are duplicates, but I've embedded each video to begin playing at the time of the particular drill I've just described.

1. Fall Forward & Lean

Let's start by practicing body language and making you aware of your posture. Stand facing a wall (or fence as in the video) and lean towards the wall at your ankles. After 5-10 falls, hold the posture/lean for 30 or so seconds. After holding the lean, try 5-10 falls with one leg lifted back to more simulate running. Repeat on opposite leg. Most likely I'll do this drill before leaving my apartment, so I know I have a wall handy. 

2. Slow High Knees

This is one drill that I've actually been doing for a couple years. Lift one knee so that your quad is parallel with the ground. This helps to activate your glutes.

Next up, we'll focus on a few balancing drills.

3. Balance Drill

Like I mentioned, good balance is so important for forefoot runners. This is a really easy drill that focuses on balance {obviously} by shifting your weight to your forefoot. Lift one foot, so you're balancing on the other. Slightly shift the weight into the forefoot of your standing leg and hold for about 30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite leg.

4. Dog Poo Drill

This drill sounds funny, but it's called that because it mimics wiping something {like dog poo} off your shoe. This is a good follow-up to the balance drill. While balancing on one foot, you'll lift the opposite leg up and swipe it back. Repeat 10-20 times and then do the drill on the opposite leg.

5. Balance Swings

In this one, instead of swiping your foot down to the ground like in the previous drill, it's more of a swing back. Focus on keeping your hips pointed straight when doing this drill. Do 10-20 swings on each leg.

We've warmed up our mind and core with balancing drills to get started. Now, let's get moving a bit more with the next few drills.

Want to be a better, stronger runner? Try these 9 running drills from @EnjoytheCourse before your next run. #runchat

6. Pseudo Jump Rope

Basically, jumping rope but without a rope. Keeping your body aligned while looking forward, bounce up and down on your forefoot with your arms out to your side a bit. This gets your legs and feet warmed up and primed to go. Do this for 30-45 seconds.

7. High Hopping

I don't have a video for this one, but it's time to do a few butt-kicking jumps. See D in the below photo. Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, spring your legs up so your feet come up towards your buttocks. Try to keep your quads relaxed and focus on using your legs instead of your feet. Start with smaller jumps and eventually you'll get closer to making contact with your buttocks. Do 10-20 jumps.

SOURCE: RunForeFoot.com

8. Run in place

Time to put it all together with a little running in place. Elbows back with a slight forward lean. Run in place for 30-45 seconds.

9. Skipping

Ready to run?! One final drill to get you on your way. Skipping! Do 5-10 skips per leg before beginning your run.


Do you do any of these running drills? What's your favorite running drill to do before a run?

9 Running Drills for Better Running

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  1. Replies
    1. You're welcome! Hope you found some new drills to add to your running routine. :)

  2. I do #6 every night with my routine but only because I lost my jump rope..haha. I didn't realize it was an actual move!

    1. LOL! That's funny. :) I always trip when I try to do actual jump roping, but this is something I can handle.