Something that is most often overlooked by runners is the importance of good running form. Poor running form can add seconds and minutes to your time,and worse yet,lead to injuries.
I believe there is a mistaken belief that we think the way we run is just the way we run,that it's something which is unique to us as a runner and there is no real need to "tinker" with our running style.The majority of runners I see could use varying degrees of instruction on their form,most notably in the way they carry their shoulders.
Here Lydiard gives some great insights on this neglected subject:
" Most people you see running don't know how to run.Invariably,they bring their arms up around their chests somewhere and roll their shoulders.If you run that way,you lose forward momentum by throwing kilos of bodyweight from side to side.Tight shoulders are another fault which wastes effort.
You do need to know how to run properly and how to develop a technique which will direct all your effort into going forward comfortably and as economically as possible.
The key to good running is relaxation.You must be nice and loose in the shoulders.The arms should be loose,relaxed and coming straight through as they do when you walk.The hands come from behind the hips and,when the elbow gets alongside the torso,the arms should flex so that the thumbs are in a line directly in front of the shoulder blade.
Check your footfall by running on sand or across a dewy lawn.To be most effective,your feet should form almost a single straight line."
Any of the above comments speaking to you? Making adjustments to our form takes time,concentration and a self-monitoring of how we are running. What we've been doing for years won't suddenly change overnight.If we stick with it though, we'll become faster and more efficient runners.