Be a Better Runner at Any Speed
Running is an excellent activity for developing leg strength and cardiovascular endurance (That means conditioning your heart and lungs…Very important muscle groups). Unfortunately, when most people go for a jog, their stride looks more like speed walking than actually running. That’s right. They choose to run with a heel-to-toe motion that more closely resembles walking than running.
Running is not walking so if you want to be a better runner at any speed, choose a stride pattern that more closely resembles running fast rather than walking. Instead of landing on your heel, then rolling to your toe, land on the front half of your foot and spring forward, like you are sprinting. This stride pattern will help you develop much stronger foot and calf muscles so when you do want to run fast, you can do so with much more speed and agility.
Distance Running for Speed and Agility is easy to learn and has many other benefits like reducing your risk of knee injuries or shin splints. All you have to do is take what you have learned while practicing the Stationary March and apply it to running. Everything is the same except you lean forward slightly and instead of doing a full knee raise, use a short quick stride, landing on the front half of your foot and springing forward as gravity pulls you along.
IMPORTANT: It will take time for your feet and calf muscles to grow stronger and adapt to this new style of running. Begin by slowly incorporating it into your runs. At first, it may feel a little strange and you may even get tired more quickly. If you get tired, don't worry, take a break and walk for a few minutes or go back to your old running style. No problem, just keep increasing the time and distance spent running this way until you have fully developed the strength needed in your feet and calf muscles.
Recommended Distance: 1-3 miles
These exercises break down Distance Running for Speed and Agility into separate parts so you can learn what it feels like to run correctly. Practice each exercise then go for a jog and focus on what you learned. The distance you run is not that important. You can run the whole way or you can walk part. You can also do timed intervals of running fast and then jogging slow, similiar to the workout we use in Jump Rope For Speed and Agility. Every couple weeks, or as you feel comfortable, increase the distance you run by about a quarter mile.
The key to Distance Running for Speed and Agility is to use your core muscles (lower abdominals, hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings) to maintain a straight body line and to stabilize your upper body as you run. Does this sound familiar? These are the same principles discussed in Excellent Posture as a Fitness Goal and it is the exact reason why excellent posture is so critical to sports performance.