PT365 Run Plans: 8 drills to make you quicker and stronger

PT365 Run Plans: 8 drills to make you quicker and stronger


Even if you aren’t following our PT365 Run Plans, you should consider adding these drills from Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. (Dr.) Mark Cucuzzella to your workout program. They’re designed to make you a quicker, stronger and more efficient runner. Watch them below.

The drills first develop coordination through repetition of correct movement. As you progress, they add strength and mobility. Like sprints, this should be fun and a bit challenging! 

Work on mastering the movement before trying to add speed or power to the drills. A grass field is the ideal surface. Give yourself a full recovery between sets. Beginning runners pursuing the 5K plan should stick with jumping rope, lateral jumps, four square, heel lifts, grapevines and razor scooter.

Those doing our half-marathon and marathon plans can progress to tougher drills such as ABCD skips, “run with tether” and more. Look for these at http://tworiverstreads.com/fun-drills. Do these twice a week at the end of a run.

Body adaptation: Strengthens and adds mobility to the key muscles and tendons used in running. Develops coordination and skill of running.

Common mistakes:

Doing drills with incorrect form.

Not recovering between sets.

Applying power before mastering the movement skill.

Muscling through the exercises without focusing on form.

Mark Cucuzzella

Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. (Dr.) Mark Cucuzzella is a professor of family medicine at West Virginia University School of Medicine. He is also designing programs to reduce running injuries in service members. He’s been a competitive runner for 30 years — with more than 100 marathon and ultramarathon finishes — and continues to compete as a national-level Masters runner. His marathon best is 2:24, and he’s won the Air Force Marathon twice, including in 2011 (2:38) a week shy of his 45th birthday.