Running drills are often overlooked, but doing them every day (yes, you read that right) makes a difference.

Running drills are a lot like foam rolling. They’re both good for us and should be done every time we run, yet we avoid them at all costs. (No? Just me?) It doesn’t matter if you run for fun or if you’re looking to run faster and stronger, running drills aren’t just for elite athletes.

This year, I set a goal to shave 30 minutes off of my marathon time so that I could qualify for the Boston Marathon. It feels like an impossible goal and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to BQ without the help of a coach. Every year I am riddled with injuries from runner’s knee-to-calf tightness and one of the first things my coach, Josh Maio of Gotham City Runners did, was teach me 8 plyometric and basic mechanics running drills. Why? Well, that was the first question I had for Josh!

“Taking five minutes to work on your mechanics by doing these drills every time you run will help improve your stride and efficiency. The muscle memory, strength and elasticity you promote can make all the difference in keeping you healthy and making you a better runner.”

So whether you’re a brand new runner who is still working towards being able to run a mile without stopping or a runner who wants to keep injuries away by running more efficiently, here are 8 running drills that will change your life!

Skips

1 A Skips

2 A Skips

High Knees

3 High Knees

4 High Knees

Butt Kicks

5 Butt Kicks

6 Butt Kicks

Grape Vine—or as I like to call it, Dirty Dancing

7 Grape Vine

8 Grape Vine

Bounders

9 Bounders

10 Bounders

Quick Feet

11 Quick Feet

12 Quick Feet

Strides

13 Strides

14 Strides a

BONUS—The Stroller Push

15 Stroller Push

16 Stroller Push

NOTE: Out of all of the drills, the stroller push was the biggest game changer. Feeling the difference before and after the drill was immediate and has helped my stride in a HUGE way.

So when do you do these drills?

17 when do i do this

EVERY TIME YOU RUN? SERIOUSLY? Yes, seriously. It takes 5 minutes at the most and these drills really do work! I’ve been doing them for 2 weeks now and I’m already noticing a difference. (I have a long way to go, don’t get me wrong, but change takes time.) Just the thought of being able to run the next 6 months with fewer injuries is life changing! So here’s to running stronger, smarter, more efficiently, and injury free!

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.