One of the things my cross country runners have had to adapt to when they got me as a coach is running drills.
Also, the kids were used to doing static stretching at the beginning of practices and they were running their warm-up run at full fledged speed. I'm trying to get them to slow up the warm up and I have replaced static stretching at the beginning of practices with dynamic stretching.
Many of them don't understand the "whys" yet and so they do the drills in a sloppy manner. (We're working on it.) Each practice I try to share with them something that gives them understanding of why we do what we do.
I think knowing why we do something makes all the difference.
This morning I listened to an interview with Pete Magill and I thought I'd share the notes I took with you. He is talking specifically about master runners, but probably to all runners in general as well.
My notes from an interview with Pete Magill
(Running Times--Great insights from the oldest American to break 15:00 for 5K)
Mistakes Masters runners make:
1. Running too hard. (This one he said everyone makes.) That is, tending to stress yourself repeatedly, in too many workouts, too often.
2. Trying to reach your goals too quickly. Figuring you can take your current training and turn in into a magical performance. "Rocky" syndrome. The truth is this: The faster way to becoming a better runner is take our time getting there. Otherwise you may never end up getting there due to injury!
Learn your effort levels--you may have to put away your watch to do this. If you are supposed to be doing a light easy recovery effort, then keep your effort at that! Slow down and you get the same benefit for the run! (referring to a recovery run)
Keep in mind a group run can sometimes be a drawback because you end up running someone else's pace. Get a few runs in a week by yourself.
3. Do drills. You may need to initially skip the high impact ones at first, but start with something. When it comes to our stride, drills help maintain and build stride length. This is essential- especially to the Master's runner.