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FORM DRILLS: Run form drills increase strength, coordination, and range of motion. You can perform them as the focus of your workout between a 2 mile warm-up and cool-down, or after an easy to moderate run of 20 to 30-minutes. They're not recommended on a tough run day as it’s just too much stress on your legs. So don’t do them after a hard track workout or long run. They’re best done on a soft even surface like a rubberized track; the firm low-tide sand of a beach, or on a level grass surface.

Do 2-3 x 20 reps, with easy jogging in-between. Alternate between different movements with short breaks between, or do several consecutive sets and move on to the next movement:

  • Carioca - running sideways w/ legs crossing each other, leg in front, then leg in back. Hold arms straight out from shoulders for balance; keep shoulders straight, twist from hips as legs cross.

  • High knee – keep knees coming up high to waist level; stay on toes, heels don’t touch ground. Slow tempo, barely moving forward focused on knee lift and form.

  • Butt kicks – thigh is inline with torso and next to knee of opposite leg as heel kicks up and touches butt. Pump arms, quick tempo, stay on toes. Not moving forward.

  • Bounding – similar to high knees but with full push-off and slow tempo. Exaggerated arm movement for height and try to cover maximum distance with each stride. Stride is a slow leaping rhythm. Emphasis is on push off to create height and max distance per stride.

  • Running backwards – short steps with quick feet.

  • Kicks – kick a straight leg up to waist height to your arm extended out front as you hop forward off other leg. Slow tempo.

  • Fast feet – moving feet up and down in place for 10 seconds, using arms, going as fast as you can.

  • Foot hops – first on left foot, then on right. Careful - if you feel any calf strain, stop!
You should do these drills at least once a week for benefit, two to three times per week is better, but never the day before or after a race. It's better to add form drills before the race season than in-season as it adds stress and additional potential for injury during. Once you’re regular with the drills, the potential for run injury is less. Some muscle fatigue is normal, but if you feel any twinges, strains, or sharp pains, stop immediately.

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