For the last entry in the Strength Training series, we will be focusing on strides and drills.
These exercises are getting into the nuts and bolts of training. These can be performed on a road, track or grassy field. Football fields are great because they will most likely have the yards marked, which is handy for the strides. To help strengthen your feet, you can perform these barefoot, though you may want to stick to the grass field if that’s the case.
Drills can be performed before or after a run and are a great way to help develop proper running form as well as helping you loosen up your joints. These drills are all performed moving and should be done twice over a 10-15 meter length.
While jogging, bring your knees up towards your chest; focus on a quick turn-over and propelling your legs more vertical than lateral.
While jogging, bring your heel up in and attempt to kick yourself in the butt. Like the high knees, focus on a quick turnover and moving forward slowly while you kick rapidly.
Skip, but drive your right leg to your chest when you leave the ground. Land and repeat with your left leg, alternating legs as you go.
Shuffle sideways to your right; your left leg will alternate going in front of your right leg and behind it with each step. Repeat to your left with your right leg.
Try to mimic your normal running form but backwards. Be sure to check over you’re shoulder so you don’t trip.
There are endless amounts of drills that can be performed. Google “dynamic warmups” and you will have plenty to choose from. These are simply the ones I use most often.
Strides can be done after a run and are a great way to develop some speed and turnover. If performed after a tough workout, they also get you used to running quickly on tired legs.
Starting out, perform 2-4 strides of 60-80 meters. You want to gradually accelerate over the first 10-20 meters until you are at 70-90% of your full sprint. Hold that until you have 10 meters left and then gradually decelerate over the next 10-20 meters. As you develop you can add more strides.