Running all out is good but running smarter is better. By focusing on the following small but important details in proper posture and running mechanics, you’ll not only conserve more energy, but avoid less pounding on your body, and fly by your competition.
Most running injuries occur whenever your heel strikes the ground. It acts like a brake, slowing you and creating stress. To prevent this, pull your toes up toward your shins as soon as they leave the ground, and focus on landing on the midfoot, with the supporting joints flexed at impact, strong glutes (butt muscles) and hamstring muscles will withdraw your legs back under your hips, relying on gravity to propel you forward.
To improve speed you need to increase stride length and/or stride rate however the correct stride length is shorter than you may think. Your feet should land beneath your hips. Any longer and you’re “reaching,” which adds destructive force. Concentrate on quicker, lighter, relaxed steps, but do not change the way your feet strike the ground.
Engage your abs so they can help you stabilize your spine to maintain good posture (chest up, shoulders over hips). But don’t flex consciously. By doing that, you could distract yourself. Instead, activate your core’s neuromuscular system by performing a dynamic warmup (jump squats, for example) prior to running.
Keep your shoulders back and retract your shoulder blades down toward your back pockets. Move your arms from your shoulders to save energy. Swinging your arms carelessly and/or improperly will throw off your alignment and leak energy
They should be held in a relaxed manner as if you were holding a butterfly with your fingers. Do not clench your fist, tightness in your fist will transfer all of the way up your arm and interfere with proper shoulder motion. Avoid unwanted movement by not carrying anything in your hand such as a phone, iPOD or water bottle, this may cause your torso to rotate instead of remaining straight and rigid.
Swing them at about 90 degrees, pulled close to your body. If your elbows flare out, your arm action will cross the front of your torso causing it to rotate and impede on the efficiency of your upper-body mechanics.