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Drills to Increase Your Speed When Running

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Whether you already run fast or simply want to, there are a number of suitable drills that can be practiced to help increase your speed. That means you have to do more than just run. In this article present some exciting drills which, if practiced correctly, can significantly improve your running speed.

Speed Training Drills To Improve Speed


These drills help to reduce your ground contact time and improve your speed. Step laterally to the left, first crossing your right leg in front and continue behind your left leg. Swing your arms and rotate your hips to improve their motion.

High knees

Lifting your front knee to 90 degrees or the same height as your hips, make sure your knees points straight ahead and go forward as quickly as possible onto the balls of your feet. This is a speed drill which helps to develop your core and leg muscles with more strength and endurance, to maintain maximum speed levels over distance and time. Do this exercise five times, each time you should perform about 20 seconds with one minute rest in between.

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Fast feet and arms

Similar to high knees, Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your elbows about 90 degrees, the palms open and facing each other. Imagine the position of your left hand eye level in front of you, and the other behind you. Run forward as fast as possible by lifting your knees up half way and making sure your heels do not touch the ground. Remember to keep your arms at 90 degrees during your movement and pump your them as fast as possible. Also, keep your hands where they will graze your pockets, meaning don’t raise your shoulders and tighten up. When you become familiar with this drill, you can increase the time and add a little weight to your hands, but still keeping the right form. This drill trains your nerves and muscles to react quickly while you are running. Do this exercise at the same time as high knees. The time your right foot hits the ground is an indicator of the stride rate.

Jump, Hop, Hop

This next drill helps your muscles to work in sync with each other, improving your movement ability in different directions of motion, and also enhances some often neglected muscles.

  • Jump forward just a few inches on both legs at a time. Jump about 10 feet forward, and then 10 feet backward.
  • Standing on your right leg, hop to the side 10 feet, and then hop to another side 10 feet. Change legs.
  • Stand on your left leg and lift your right foot up. Hop forward about 10 feet, and hop to back 10 feet, then change legs. Do each exercise about 5 times with 1 minute to rest in the between each time.

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Lunge Variations

Lunges help to enhance the strength of your core, as well as improving your balance.

  • Bend one knee to 90 degrees then step forward and landing with the knee still is at 90 degrees. Push the glutes of the forward leg to continue the lunge in other leg. Do this drill for 20 yards.
  • Lateral cross-over lunges: Stand on the right leg. Put your left foot cross in front of your right leg and squat as low as possible to the right. Step your right foot to the right side and continue to cross your left foot front your right leg and squat. Do for 10 times and change the side by bring your left leg back over and stand to repeat the exercise to another side.

Lateral Squats

You can also squat to improve your sideways balance and strengthen gluteal muscles along with other drills.

  • Squat on both knees and feet, step sideways and then change the side.
  • As the same as Lateral cross-over lunges but instead of stand you Squat with legs shoulder-width apart. Cross your left foot front your right leg, then step your right foot to the right. Repeat for 10 times then change side.
  • You can do similar to carioca style while still maintaining a squat. Cross your right foot in front of left foot and then cross behind it.

Not only are speed drills necessary to improve your run, but Form Drills are also essential for improvement as well.

Straight-Leg Shuffle

With an upright body, straight legs, toes and ankles pointed upward, bounce forward with low-rising forward leg lunges and a quick cadence. Avoid leaning backwards. This drill helps to improve quick cadence running, while also enhancing a flat or midfoot strike.

Running backwards

Although our goal is to increase speed, form is an important aspect that gets us there. So, with this drill, the focus should be more on form, rather than speed. You still push off of your forefoot and swing your arms; however you will move backward with your hamstrings and using core muscles to stabilize differently. Running backwards helps to strengthen your upper hamstrings, glutes, and many of the core muscles in the abdominal region, as well the lower back.

Hamstring Extensions

Keep your body upright with straight legs. slightly kick one leg forward while the opposite hand lightly taps the extended foot. You also just focus on form for this one, not speed. This drill is necessary for running fast with an efficient form, because it develops better mobility of the gluteal and hamstring muscle groups, as well as strengthens forward hip extension.

Butt Kicks

Run in place and try to kick your rear end with your heel on each stride. You just need to simply flick your lower leg backward and pay attention to keep the rest of your body in place. This drill especially improves leg turnover cadence.

We have gone over a few drills which are helpful for improving both stride acceleration and essential form. Try to do these recommended drills three to four times per week continuously. There are plenty more helpful drills, so whichever you find that work best for you, the important thing to remember is that you include them as part of your routine for maximum effectiveness.


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