Running drills are another way to improve running strength, mobility, neuromuscular coordination and resilience. They are more advanced than strides and should be incorporated once a solid running foundation is in place.
They are often performed at the end of running workouts after performing a few strides, but you can do them any time as long as you are fully warmed up. Each drill is performed for 15-20 seconds, and 1-2 sets of these drills are sufficient.
Quick feet, high knees
Perform a running motion but drive knees up quickly each step. Arm movement and posture should be the same as running. Land on forefoot each time and try to minimize ground contact time.
Even quicker feet!
Very similar to the high-knee drill, but the goal is to raise and lower feet as quickly as possible.
Skip slowly while emphasizing vertical push-off and amplitude
This is a simple skip that emphasizes the push-off to leap as high in the air as possible each step. Start small and build up intensity as you feel comfortable.
Lateral movement drill
Move laterally to your left or right, alternating between a step in front and a step behind your body. When stepping in front you should emphasize a high knee movement. Repeat in both directions (left and right).
Start slow and progress as coordination improves
Perform the skip drill moving backwards. You won’t be able to leap very high, just focus on quick and stable feet.
Requires high amounts of coordination and strong hamstrings
This is a more advanced version of the skip drill that includes an extension of leading leg and quick “pull-back” to get it back underneath center of gravity. Do not perform this is hamstrings are weak or injured.
Requires strength, mobility, and perfect movement patterns
Bounding is a running stride where you over-emphasize the push-off and make your stride length as long as possible. Make sure you continue to strike the ground underneath your body, not out in front of you.