Running Efficiency: Key Components to Improve your Efficiency in the Run

January 26, 2024

With the off-season in full swing, thoughts on form tend to be forgotten this time of year while they are more top of mind in-season. What we must keep top of mind is our potential will always be limited if we do not work on our efficiency in addition to our endurance and speed.

Here are some key pointers in how your body should be positioned to run as efficiently as possible. Remember, excess movement is wasted energy that causes an earlier onset of fatigue and could instead be used towards greater endurance or speed.


  • Straight and high
  • Eyes should be looking about 20 yards out in front of you
  • The head should have little to no movement


  • Relaxed
  • Held back with no slouch
  • Little to no movement


  • Open and out


  • Fairly relaxed
  • Close to the sides of your body
  • Elbows bent
  • Loose fists with thumbs on top
  • Fists should be near the chest on each side of the body
  • Movement of the arms is crucial, however, arms should not cross over the mid-line of the body. Exaggerated outward or forward/backward movements contribute to a lot of wasted energy.


  • Engaged, tight abdominals


  • Facing forwards


  • A mid-foot to forefoot strike is ideal
  • Feet should land beneath the hips, underneath your center of gravity


  • Stand tall
  • Slight forward lean from head to toe, this lean should come from the ankles and not the waist
  • Any movement that goes across the midline of the body is counterproductive (like an excessive arm swing or twisting the torso)

Make it a point to understand these key pointers and consistently work towards efficient form. Focus on one or two of these areas in each run. Just like with swimming, when we try to focus on several areas at once, we tend to lose focus altogether. When you focus on one or two, it's easier to maintain this train of thought and leads to greater improvement.

CLICK HERE to learn, understand and practice five different running drills and a variety of stretches to help improve your running efficiency. These drills will improve and help reinforce:

  • Proper foot strike
  • Stride length and stride cadence
  • Coordination and balance
  • Strength, power and flexibility in the core, glutes, hamstrings and hip flexors which are key muscle groups used in the run
  • Reduced risk of injury

Complete these exercises at least one to two times a week or after your warm-up and before the main set in every high intensity run session. Complete these static stretches four to five times per week or after every workout. Static stretching is best completed when our core temperature is elevated, like after your workouts or a hot shower.

Maximize your potential by learning and understanding how to develop greater efficiency. Skill refinement never ends. Master the mechanics and speed is a byproduct.

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