For today’s Run Form Friday comment I wanted to look at why we do drills and skills, why we look at technique. Over the last 8 months I’ve posted a variety of videos that I’ve felt personally might be useful to people. Some don’t see the worth in doing run drills at all. But for for us, we really find that certain elements can really help with speed, strength, efficiency and injury prevention.
The two drills I wanted to pick out are high knees and heel flicks – two drills that many do but don’t understand WHY. If you don’t know why you do the drill, what’s the point, and how can you really do it correctly?!
Both drills have a similar goal, but looking at the running stride in two separate sections. They are both designed to increase that elusive word – cadence (the number of steps/strides you take per minute), as well as other benefits.
First up, high knees – we’ve all done this drill, at school, in warm ups, for various sports.
The idea of the drill is that you run with fast feet, you’re not aiming for distance per stride, almost the opposite. By driving you foot down under the body, you minimise the opportunity to over stride (and therefore lower the load on the legs). By getting the knees high you can also drive down with more force – perfect for going faster!
With heel flicks, again it’s a highly common drill.
This works on using the hamstrings to pull the heels up and through. By picking your feet up a little more you minimise the resistance and the effort required to bring your leg forward and through. Obviously that doesn’t mean you have to stride like Mo Farah sprinting the last 400 at the Olympics – but that is a main reason for a higher heel carry. Again by doing the drill quickly, with sharp snappy movements, it will help increase your overall cadence.
Obviously there are lots of drills around, we’ve looked at a fair few in the last 8 months – but hopefully that gives you a little insight into how we work and what we try to do.