These Speed And Power Drills Will Improve Your Running
400m Track athlete and Olympian Natasha Hastings was in South Africa as part of her initiative, Tea Time With Tasha, along with Olympian Mechelle Lewis Freeman’s organization, Track Girlz. Together, they held training sessions with girls in schools and universities to help their athletics. We got to tag along for a session with Under Armour, which involved speed, power and agility drills.
“There’s that kind of myth that runners just run,” she says. “But there are so many other things that we do to build strength and that’s power, core [work].” A quick scroll through her Instagram reveals Tash does tons of weight work, including Olympic lifts, sled sprints and really heavy squats. “I sometimes do Pilates. Even basic plyometrics are very important,” she says. “I think sometimes we can get so far from the basics so I think it’s important to remember a lot of squats, squat jumps, hurdle hops, box jumps.”
Natasha’s track routine consists of tons of drills designed to wake up your nervous system’s quick response time. Try this routine designed by her to get race ready.
A-Skips and B-Skips
Do these for around 100 metres, then sprint the rest of the distance. “Remember to swing your hands to your cheek,” says Hastings. “This generates power from your shoulders by swinging your arms. When your legs get tired, your arms carry you through.” Not sure of the difference between the two skips? This video helps:
Foot Strike Drills
Stand on the ground, one leg elevated at 90 degrees. With precision, strike the ground as hard and fast as you can. Swap legs. This tests your reaction time and wakes your central nervous system, says Hastings.
From standing, sprint 200 metres. “Keep your centre of gravity a little forward,” says Hastings. This means aiming to stack your torso over the hips, which helps move you forward faster.
Place five hurdles in front of you, each a foot and a half distance apart. Aim to jump over each hurdle with both legs at the same time – like a box jump. When you’re done with all five, move into a sprint to the finish line.
Place around six agility hurdles (those tiny yellow ones they have in the gym) in a row. Aim to sprint through each one, placing one foot in between hurdles only.