I have previously blogged about the 100-Up Challenge which requires you to do the 100-Up exercise for 30 days in a row, in order to improve running form. The exercise is very simple however you quickly feel the burn in your hips and I have only made it to 100 leg lifts once in the fifteen days I have tried.
Since developing better running form is the point of the exercise, it is important to stop when the leg lifts are not perfect, rather than push through to 100 just for the sake of it.
I went for a 5km run last week and although I didn't record my speed I definitely felt more relaxed while running; I realised that I usually lift my shoulders and keep tension in my back. However when practicing 100-Up you move so slowly, and just pull your elbow back while lifting your knee (instead of pumping arms forward), so I really noticed that my neck/back/shoulders and arms ALL felt more relaxed during my run (and I think my time was pretty good too). Using and tiring fewer muscles during each run will definitely help with stamina over time.
So although I still have another fifteen days to practice the exercise I feel like it has helped my running form already, and once I regularly achieve the 100-Up minor exercises I will change this to the 100-Up major exercises (a faster more dynamic workout) and see how this affects my form and timing also.