One small change that will affect you 180 times a minute
Each running minute you take about 160-180 steps. Each step is a chance to move forward with less effort and with greater distance. The placement of your heels impact those steps.
This one change in your running stride will increase your speed, decrease fatigue, and lighten your step.
After your foot leaves the ground at the back of you, raise your heel to be horizontal to the ground, as high as your knee. Even better is when you tuck it under your glutes as you swing the leg forward. A shorter leg is easier to swing forward to take the next step.
"Less flexion of the knee is a negative during the swing phase of running because longer levers are harder to move compared with short levers. Longer levers require more force and thus more oxygen to move. In addition, the foot represents a significant weight, and having a large weight at the end of a long lever makes it very difficult to accelerate forward." (Running Science by Owen Anderson, PhD)
View these videos below to see the correct heel placement during the swing phase of the running stride. Thanks to my son, the freezing videographer, for his assistance during Winter Storm Stella! (We got 17 inches in less than 24 hours.)
It is that simple. Next time you run, make each step easier by raising your heel.