Running hard is good. Running smart is better. By focusing on small but important movements and body alignment, you’ll save energy, avoid injury, and sprint past your competition.
Running injuries are made worse whenever your heel strikes the ground. “It acts like a brake, slowing you and creating stress,” says Rick Fishell, a running coach at Athletes’ Performance in Carson, California. To prevent this, pull your toes up toward your shins as soon as they leave the ground, and aim to land on the balls of your feet.
The correct stride length is shorter than you may think. Your feet should land beneath your hips, says Fishell. Any longer and you’re “reaching,” which adds destructive force. …