Whether you do it for fun or do it as your main source of competition, there are two ways you can become faster over longer distances.
First, you can create a powerful aerobic engine; you build your capacity to move oxygen effectively throughout your body.
Second, you can create an efficient biomechanical engine; you increase your body’s efficiency whereby you can move faster with less cost.
Both are important.
However, if you want running to be something you do well into your 70s+, how efficiently you run will determine your frequency of injury and longevity on the roads, trails, or track.
That’s why fine tuning your form is incredibly important even for a runner who just likes to “jog”. Why move poorly and uncomfortably when you can make your running that much smoother and more enjoyable?
Dribbles are great drills you can do to teach you how to run more powerfully and efficiently.
I got these from Dan Pfaff of Altis. Primarily used by sprinters, dribbles are great for long distance runners, too.
The Benefits of Dribbles
When you learn how to dribble well, you:
- Learn how to produce and control vertical projection forces to help you move horizontally.
- Dribbles teach you the important of pushing into the ground instead of clawing/pawing at the ground.
- Improve your body’s elastic energy system, thereby reducing your energy costs.
- Dribbles teach you how to manipulate your fascia and tendons to absorb and transmit force more effectively.
- Improve your body’s ability to manipulate fluid dynamics improving joint motion and stability.
- The landing mechanics of the dribbles create rigidity in the ankle and mirror the leg’s position at full “support”, ie the most important and power generating part of the stride.
- Improve your coordination.
- Dribbles are super technical and require high cognitive demand at first. Better coordination means safer running.
- Have a “Plan B” for when you are injured, but need to a substitution to keep training.
- Dribbles reduce the load of tension and strain on the hamstrings and adductors.
- Dribbles can act as a supra maximal frequency drill to increase stride frequency even while injured.
How to Dribble
In today’s video I break down the basic progressions and mechanics of the dribble. Before you watch consider the following:
- There are three versions of dribbles: Over the Ankle, Over the Calf, Over the Knee.
- Each version of the dribble involves a softer and quieter landing on the heel and a rolling through the full foot.
- Stay off your toes. Dribbles finish through the balls of the feet.
- Start slowly. Never add complexity until you can master each step.
- In place –> Marching –>Dribbles at half speed –> Dribbles at full speed.
- Ankle –> Calf –> Knee –> Running / Sprinting