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Some aspects of speed may be based on pure talent. But, for those just wanting to get in better shape by running there are ways to improve your speed and endurance right now! Like every exercise move, it comes down to technique. Your running form has a lot more to do with your performance than you may know.

1. Work on Your Breathing Technique: You exert energy trying to catch your breath, which excels your heart rate and tires your out faster. Plus, your shorter breaths deprive you of oxygen. Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth with long, deep breaths. Pull the air into the belly and push it out through the belly. Focus on controlling that pace of breath by matching the rhythm of your steps. Breathe out for the same amount of counts, or steps, as you breathe in.

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2. Use Your Arms: Use your arms for extra momentum. Keep your elbows in and make sure your arms are moving forwards and backwards, not across your chest. Your arms should move forward and backwards with the opposite leg. Twisting and turning will shorten your breaths, cramp you up and tire you out.

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3. Open Up Your Stride Length:
Your steps should be elongated and you should land softly. But, do not overextend. If you are hitting the ground heel first, shorten your extension. Your foot should hit the ground around the balls of your feet and roll off. Quick paces are wasted effort, unless you are about to hurdle. Adjusting your stride length will also help lower the impact on your knees.

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4. Check Your Chin: Your chin should never be tucked in or jutting out. Keep it natural by looking forward just as if you were walking. Do not look down at your feet or strain to view the horizon. By keeping your eyesight level, you will straighten your back and overall chest alignment.

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5. Keep Your Upper Body Loose—including your fists! Relax those shoulders. They should be low and loose. If you feel tension in your shoulders, breath and roll them backwards. Avoid the shoulder creep–where they end up close to your ears! That can cause tons of strains and pains, so learn to relax your muscles from the beginning.

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6. Run Tall: Your spine should be in it’s natural alignment from head to toe. Make sure not to lean forward or backwards.