Let’s assume you regularly do the 5-Point Running Form Check explained in that blog post. That’s great, but if you discover that your form isn’t perfect – and whose form is perfect – then you may be wondering if there is a way to target different elements of your form to improve because, of course, the goal is to run with good form all the time, even when you’re not concentrating on it.
Well, that’s the whole idea of running drills. As a rule, they exaggerate some movement. I encourage you to check out Mojo for Running Podcast Episode #90: Running Drills.
Benefits of Running Form Drills
- It strengthens the necessary muscles to make that movement easier and more natural.
- It trains the body in that motion/movement.
- It gives you a chance to mentally focus on that movement pattern.
A quick YouTube search will reveal, easily, 30 different running drills. So, any time you want to add to your repertoire, that’s a good place to go. Sometimes different coaches will have different names for the same drill, but you’ll get the idea. I have my favorites, and I’ve made up a few of my own that have really been successful with my runners over the years.
Running Form Drills
- Streetlight form check drill: Find a street with street lights, and use them to determine running segments. For the first mile of your run, stop at every street light and do a head to toe form check. Then run in place for ten steps, focusing on perfect form, before resuming running.
- Airborne drill: We’ve all played with helium-filled balloons. Run as if your body is a small helium balloon, and you want to keep your weight to ever come to rest on a foot when it’s on the ground. You only touch the ground briefly, just to keep your bodyweight in the air. Concentrate on avoiding sinking into your steps. This visualization will help you to be light on your feet.
- Beauty and the beast drill: Run five steps, heavily, loudly. Then run ten steps soundlessly. Repeat several times.
- Isolated arm drill: Without moving your legs, pump your arms as if running. Do this to a 180 beat per minute cadence. Pull your arms back from the elbow. So, you’re only pumping them back and letting each arm swing naturally, forward, as the opposite arm pumps back. Your legs will do what your arms do when you run, but it’s difficult to focus on your arms and legs at the same time. This drill allows you to focus on your arms.
Give those a try and when you get tired of those, just go to YouTube and you’ll find an endless supply to always keep your running form training fresh and fun.