How to Run More Efficiently

Angela Regnier
Recently, I met Amanda Regnier through Instagram. We both had a passion for running and endurance sports so it was a natural connection. I asked Amanda to give a webinar to WeREndurance on how to run more efficiently. Here’s the interview:
During the interview, she provided the participants with various drills to help them get stronger. Here they are:

Chair Drill

  • Stand 1 fist distance away from the bench on a single leg
  • Push hips back into 1/4 squat without the space between your knee and the bench change
  • Push heel into the ground and push knee “out” to side

Why I love it:

As a runner, it is important to have strong glutes – and the best way to activate them is through hip dominant movements. To maximally activate your glutes, your knee should NOT travel forward in the first miro movement of any squat type pattern. When doing the chair drill, if the space between your knee and the bench stays the same, you know you are doing a hip-dominated movement.

Keep in mind:

Your knee still has to bend (i.e don’t just fold forward at your hips), and you should be able to easily look forward the entire time with a neutral spine (tall posture!). Notice in the video, my hips and knee bend together, BUT my knee does NOT travel forward.

Step Up

  • Use top leg (on box) to push hips “up”
  • Think about trying to get the top of your head to hit the ceiling slightly ahead of you
  • Do NOT push off from bottom leg
  • Ensure top knee does NOT slide forward during the “up” phase

Why I love it:

This is an advanced progression from the chair drill. You will use the exact same movement pattern, except instead of squatting down, you stand up. The same principles apply that your knee can NOT travel forward. If you do this correctly, you should find this exercise quite challenging without any weight. To help you do it right, set up with one foot on the box with your knee stacked directly over your heel. Have a friend put their hand in front of your knee, and try to step up on the box without your knee pushing into their hand.

Keep in mind:

It is not mechanically bad for your knees to travel over your toes. In fact, I will often have my runners do specific exercises that encourages them to do a lunge with their knee as far over their toe as possible. It is important to put your body through full ranges of motion to “bullet proof” your body against injury. However, the goal for the above exercises is to maximally activate glutes, and the best way to do that is to NOT allow your knee to travel over your toe.

For Reference:

Here is a demo of a Quad Dominated Step Up (NOT what we are looking for). It is quad-dominated because the first muscle to activate will be your quads as your knee slides forward, and you won’t get as much glute activation.
To inquire about online running-specific strength training, please email Amanda at [email protected]