I used to think that learning to run meant just running. You know, drag my tired butt out of bed at 6 am, pull on some running gear and stagger out the door to the delight of the sunrise and magpies! However after some (more) injuries, my physio taught me about drills – and they have become integral to my training.
Drills are short, sharp, repeated exercises intended to train your muscles to repeat movements in efficient ways. Some will gently stretch muscles to prevent cramps or over-stretching in faster exercises. Others will over-exaggerate movement in ways that remind your body to move in particular ways. Drills improve body/mind communication, and muscle coordination, and are a great way to warm up for harder sessions (like track or specific speed work).
At first they feel awkward, and I took a few sessions to learn how not to trip over my own feet! But now they are second nature. 10-20 minutes of warmup running, followed by 10 minutes of drills is all I need to get into a good track session. Initially they can be a good workout session on their own! You won’t regret taking time to get to know how to do drills well. The further you get into race training, the more useful they are.
Rather than stumble over words describing them, here’s Aussie Olympic Marathoner Benita Willis to show you her best ones.
Training Tip #5: Learn to do Drills, and do them at least weekly in race training.