If you want to be faster, here's a great drill to incorporate into your training regimen. This exercise is great for both runners and track athletes as it coordinates the calf and the hip to fire simultaneously as the opposite limb is flexing (thats running!). This is important because the calf and the hip provide the main propulsion force during running at any speed.
The important parts of the exercise include:
- extend the back leg fully and point the toe behind you
- as you drive the lifted leg forward, push hard through the big toe and squeeze the glute muscles to extend the standing leg as much as possible
- keep the abs contracted so your lower back doesn't extend (you can hear the cue "keep your lower belly" and see the fix if you turn up the audio on the video)
After practicing the drill with just one leg, progress to switching between each leg.
Next, work on jumping as your transition.
As you perform the movement, try to notice differences between the right and left side. Is it harder to push up through the big toe with one of your feet? Does one leg feel harder to bring behind you while keeping your core engaged? This is a good way help to discover potential imbalances in your running form that could be slowing you down!