Running Drills to Strengthen Form

Running Drills To Strengthen Form

Sarah Seads BA Kinesiology

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Runners often get caught up in the 'more miles' trap while trying to improve their running fitness.  Continually running further and longer can lead to fatigue, burnout and injuries. Performing specific exercises to strengthen your technique can result in significant increases in speed, strength and endurance without adding more miles.

Four Power Drives
Warm up for 10-15 minutes before completing 1-3 sets of 10-20 repetitions,1-3 times per week during your training runs. These drills are most effective when done against gravity on a moderate

1. Down with the arms. Keeping arms close to your sides and elbows at 90 degree angles, drive your elbows down and back forcefully. This action creates an opposite reaction, propelling you forward.
2. Forward with the knees. Standing tall, drive your knees forward to reach a 45 degree angle in front of you. Do not drive the knee upward but forward to strengthen this action and increase stride length.
3. Push off with the feet. Focus on pushing off the ball of the foot and leaving the ground on tip toe. This action maximizes ankle joint extension and increases strength dramatically.
4. Drive forward with the hips. Standing tall, focus on leading with your hips. Imagine a ropetied around your hips, pulling you from the belly button.

Over a period of weeks you will notice an increase in your speed as your body adapts and your biomechanics become stronger and more co-ordinated.

Happy Trails!

Sarah Seads is the owner of Equilibrium Lifestyle Management (ELM), a fitness and rehabilitation business based in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. For more information on training ideas and programs go to or call ELM at 338-8998.