Monday, 11 January 2010

Running Tips 1

Running drills are an important part of any run session. They should take place after a 5-10min warm-up such as a light jog. The drills mimic and often exaggerate movement patterns that take place when running. Thus they provide a dynamic stretch to the muscles used when running, help train correct muscle activation patterns used when running improving running efficiency and prepare your body for the physical challenge that lies ahead. Here are some drills to add into your run sessions:

Double Hops: Hop on the ball of your left foot then swap to your right. The hop should be small and quick. Perform on the spot for 20-30sec or slowly moving forwards over 15-20m.

Skipping A's: This drill is just skipping like you did as a child but with an exaggerated action. Exaggerate your knee lift, arm swing and the height of your skip so that you hip flexes to 90deg, your hands come up to shoulder level and you 'leap' 10-15cm into the air. Perform slowly moving forwards over 15-20m.

Hamstring Flicks: With a slight forward lean of the body 'flick' your heels towards your buttocks. Your hip and knee should flex so that your heel comes up under your buttock rather than straight behind you. Perform slowly moving forwards over 15-20m.

Pendulum Swings: Standing on the spot on your left leg swing your right leg forwards and backwards. Your right knee should remain slightly flexed (bent) to that the ball of your foot brushes the ground underneath you with each swing. Your trunk should remain upright and relaxed. Perform 20reps on each leg.

Skipping B's: This is a little tricky to describe but it is essentially a combination of Skipping A's, Hamstring Flicks and Pendulum Swings. As you skip your left heel moves towards your buttock then the knee lifts to it's highest point, as it does this straighten your left knee by gently 'kicking out' then bring the left foot down underneath you. Your right leg performs the same movement in a reciprocal action. Think of a horse scraping the ground with it's front hoof. Perform slowly moving forwards over 15-20m.

I prefer to perform each drill twice to ensure that I am properly warmed up and ready to go. This link shows some of the drills and others you might like to try. The athlete in the video really exaggerates her movements. You could tone it down just a little!

Try them out in your next run session. Tim (LFTC Coach)