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Running Drills

One of the key benefits of running drills is that they help to improve running technique. By focusing on specific aspects of your running form such as posture, arm swing and foot strike, drills enable you to develop efficiently and biomechanical with sound movement patterns. This, in turn, can help prevent injuries and increase running efficiency.

Posture and running drills play a crucial role in enhancing mobility and performance. Maintaining proper posture while running is essential for optimising efficiency and reducing the risk of strain on the body.

Good posture is the foundation of successful running. It affects the alignment of the body, the distribution of weight and the overall mechanics of movement. When running, it is important to maintain an upright posture with the head and shoulders aligned over the hips. This alignment allows for optimal energy transfer and reduces the strain on various muscle groups, therefore meaning it feels easier to run.

By maintaining proper posture, runners can improve their running economy, which refers to the amount of energy expended during running. When the body is aligned correctly, the muscles work more efficiently, resulting in less energy wasted. This, in turn, allows runners to maintain a faster pace for a longer duration without excessive fatigue.

Moreover, maintaining good posture helps prevent injuries by reducing stress on the joints and muscles. When the body is misaligned, certain muscles are overworked while others are underutilised, leading to muscle imbalances and an increased risk of injury. By adopting correct posture, runners can reduce the likelihood of common running injuries such as shin splints, IT band syndrome and plantar fasciitis.

Interval training is another method that can enhance your running performance. By alternating between high-intensity bursts of speed and recovery periods, you can increase your cardiovascular fitness and build endurance — for example, a 30-second sprint followed by a jog or walk for one minute. Repeat this cycle for several rounds. Interval training not only improves your running speed but also burns more calories in a shorter period of time.

In addition to improving physical fitness, running drills have numerous mental and emotional benefits. Regular running can boost your mood, reduce stress levels and enhance cognitive function. It provides an opportunity to clear your mind, focus on the present moment and experience a sense of accomplishment. Running in nature can be particularly rejuvenating, as it allows you to connect with the outdoors and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings.

To make the most of your running drills, it is important to warm up properly before each session and cool down afterwards. This helps to prevent injuries and allows your body to recover effectively. Additionally, listen to your body and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your drills over time. Consistency is key in reaping the benefits of running drills.

Remember, running drills are not only about improving your running performance but also about promoting overall wellbeing. So, lace up your running shoes, hit the pavement and discover the joy of running while enhancing your physical and mental health.

6 Running drills for posture and running improvement

1. Posture-Awareness Running

This drill focuses on developing awareness of your posture during running. Start by running at a slow pace and consciously check your posture. Ensure that your head is up, shoulders are relaxed and your coreis engaged. Maintain this posture throughout the drill, gradually increasing your speed and distance.

2. Side-to-Side Skip or Experienced Grape-Vine Twist

Side-to-side skips or the grapevine drill stabilise muscles. Move side to side by crossing one leg over the other in front then behind. Hold your arms out to the side to begin as you start to find your balance or use your arms as you would while running. There is a trunk twist in the body which ensures correct running posture. This exercise helps strengthen the core muscles and reinforces proper posture while running.

3. High Knee

This drill is designed to improve posture and stride length. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Lift one knee up towards your chest while maintaining an upright posture. Lower the leg and repeat with the other leg. Perform this drill in a controlled manner, gradually increasing the speed. Focus on maintaining proper posture and engaging the core throughout the exercise.

4. Arm Swing:

Proper arm swing contributes to maintaining balance and posture while running. Stand tall and jog in place while focusing on your arm swing. Keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle and swing your arms back and forth in a controlled manner. Avoid crossing your arms in front of your body. This drill helps improve coordination and reinforces proper arm-swing technique.

5. Crab Walk on Toe:

Move side to side in a lower body position. Rise to your tip toes and gently glide side to side. Perform this drill in a controlled manner, gradually increasing the speed. Focus on maintaining proper posture and engaging the core throughout the exercise.

6. Pick the Daisy:

In a walking motion, keep one leg straight and bend towards the toe as though to pick daisies. Take another step and repeat on the other side. The picking the daisy drill is used in all running sports to ensure open hamstrings and prevent injury.

Article Featured in WellBeing 209

Belinda Norton

Belinda Norton

Belinda Norton is health and fitness educator and personal trainer with 23 years’ experience. She is a published author of Fit Mama and writer for Kid Spot, and shares her women’s wellness and body alignment expertise. Belinda is a mother of two teens, speaker and children’s health advocate. Connect with her at blivewear.com or Instagram @Belinda.n.x.

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