Ahh...the two most popular running drills ever! The classics! I thought I'd take a few minutes to pay tribute to “Ladders” and the ole “Swedish Mile.” And, hey, maybe there are some new track coach's out there who need to research some basic running workouts. For the rest of us, it'll be a trip down memory lane. On that note though, I am reminded of something my college track coach loved to say, “Today we're going to run Ladders...and when I say 'we' I mean 'you.'” ...
1. Running up the ladder
Ladder drills are an excellent running workout. They are easy to do, easy to coordinate, and great for both sprinters and distance runners. Here's the secret formula:
For distance runners, a ladder drill might look more like:
2. Swedish Mile
And now we come to the Swedish Mile. I wonder if people in Sweden actually invented this drill...or worse, I wonder what an “American Mile” might look like in other countries?! Actually, I don't want to know.
Nevertheless, the Swedish Mile is also a great running drill for both sprinters and distance runners. Runners will run again at about 75%-80% speed in a line, fairly close together. While Ladders can be done individually, a Swedish Mile requires a group of runners. The premise of the Swedish Mile is that the last runner in line has to sprint to the front of the line. When that runner has taken over at the front, then the next person from the end of the line sprints to the front.
Everyone has the opportunity to cycle through many times and get in plenty of sprinting bursts. A Swedish Mile can be run on the streets, trails, or on a track. It can be a little tight to run it on a sidewalk because you need to be able to fit the width of the line of runners and the sprinter together. The Swedish Mile gives even the slowest runner in the pack a chance to experience chasing, passing, overtaking, and all those good things. Whether you run for a mile or not is really not important, but it's a good general target.
There you have it—Ladders and the Swedish Mile—the two most popular running drills ever!