Running Economy Drills

Drills to Improve Running Economy

Specific hip strengthening exercises can maximize your running performance. Hip strengthening is an important component to improving your running economy as a distance runner, or sprinter.

Lean Fitness: Just Start

Lean Fitness: Just Start

Running economy can be defined as the maximal oxygen consumption at a given speed. Therefore, a runner with greater running economy (efficiency) can out perform an individual with a higher maximal oxygen capacity. There are specific measures for the running economy of a long sprinter (400m) compared to a distance runner (3200m). These differences are specific to the energy system predominantly used for the event.

Drills to Improve Running Economy

  • Running Technique: Form running over short, controlled distances.
  • Learn efficient stride mechanics: Cadence and stride length.
  • Mobility exercises to maximize range of motion: This emphasizes dynamic and functional based stretching that will improve strength throughout the range of motion in your stride.
  • Strength and Core Stabilization: The core stabilization of the pelvo-lumbar region and specifically the lower extremity joints(hips, knees and ankles) are essential to improved running economy and injury prevention. This holds true for sprinters, as well as marathon runners.

Below are a few basic lower extremity and core exercises that can be practiced. Minimal equipment is required. Body weight, or resistive bands can be used. Performing these exercises 2-3 sets of 10-20 reps is recommended as a goal. Initially, just try 1 set of 10-15 reps. Emphasize technique a steady rhythm.

Supine Abs/Hip Flexors:

Wall Drives:

Posted by: Randy Bauer

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