Run Drills

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Run DRILLS and Run PHASES – 

By practising specific run drills you can improve your technique and running economy – you’ll run lighter. 

With consistent practice you’ll see improvements in speed and running efficiency – running will feel easier.

You need to be prepared to practice the same drills over weeks and months to really perfect them. Advancements is drills happen by adding complexity to the movement or speeding the drill up.

Run drills (not to be confused with run dynamic warm ups) are aligned with the four phases of running.

The four phases are:
A – Drive phase
B – Flight phase
C – Landing/stance/support phase phase
D – Recovery phase.

With all run drills you need to try to maintain a tall posture / high hips / chest up / head up and a view towards the horizon. Your arms should drive back and not come across the body.

Phase A – Drive phase – Your goal is to have your leg in contact with the ground in full extension at the hip knee and ankle – this is called – triple extension – the other leg will have hip, knee and ankle joints – positioned at 90 degrees. To improve the drive phase you should practice – “A steps/skips/runs” and fast feet.

Phase B – Flight phase – this is when both legs are off the ground – you’re in full flight – the foot (toe) that is about to come into contact with the ground should be pointing towards the shin ready ready to land with what’s called an “active foot.” To improve the flight phase you should practice – “B steps, skips and runs.” All with a circular motion.

Phase C – Landing/stance/support phase – Your foot should ideally make contact with the ground as close to underneath our centre of mass (shin almost vertical) and preferably with a mid-foot landing/strike. To improve the landing phase you should practice – “ankling” (stepping over the ankle), stepping over the calf, stepping over the knee.

Phase D – Recovery phase – When the leg has driven down and back to move the body up and forward, it recovers underneath your centre of mass (underneath the backside). During this phase of running action you want your body levers to be short. This is achieved by closing the knee (a bent knee) and pulling your heel to butt – this creates a faster ‘pull through’ on to the flight phase and a more efficient run gait. To improve the recovery phase you should practice – fast feet with heel to butt, heel to butt every 3rd step, and heel to butt extending into a B run.

All drills should be combined with strides to help combine and sequence the new improved run motor patterns into your new and improved running efficiency!

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