Before you can take the advice of champions in improving your running form and banishing the threat of painful knees, you need to be able to recognize when you're making mistakes in your posture to begin with. While this might seem simple enough, the truth is that a lot of people make mistakes with their running techniques, without even noticing that they're doing something wrong until they're already dealing with a serious injury, or wondering why they can't beat their best lap time.
Aside from constant reliance on knee compression sleeves to help you recover after a particularly long run, the following signs of bad running posture should give you a hint that you need to stop, and rethink your form.
Pushing the top half of your body forwards as you run won't actually help you to get to your destination any quicker, and it could be a sign that you're putting too much pressure on the lower half of your legs, which is particularly dangerous for people who frequently suffer from knee pain and joint injuries. Keep your head in a neutral position, and aim to maintain a straight posture all the way from your feet, to the top of your hairline.
Arms Crossing Over the Body
If you want to get the most out of your running experience, then your arms should be free to move from the shoulders. However, while straight forwards and backwards motions in your arms are a good thing, signs of bad running posture include weirdly angled elbows and arms that cross across your body as you move. Running is a linear sport, so all of your energy should be going forward, not to the sides.
Good running posture relies upon your feet striking the ground in a mid-to-forefront fashion, rather than constant heel-striking. Your foot should land underneath your hip, not behind it, or in front of it, and should also have as little contact with the ground as possible in order to reduce the amount of stress that you place in your knees. If you're leaning backwards, then you need to work on straightening your posture.
Difficulty Running Uphill
While running up a hill will naturally be more of a challenge than running on straight ground, or down a slope, you should be able to manage it without any unnecessary pain in your hips or knees. One of the most obvious signs of bad running posture is excessive discomfort in your joints when you attempt to push yourself up an incline. If you do notice some pain, try reducing your stride instead of lengthening it, and focus on keeping the same upright position as much as possible as you move. While it can be tempting to push forward with everything you've got, this will likely put too much pressure on your hips and knees, which can lead to a trying recovery at the end of the day.