Perfect your posture
"Less than twice your body weight goes through your knees and feet when you walk, compared with more than five times when running," says sports scientist and UK athletics race walking coach Andi Drake, "so while trying not to overpronate [roll inwards] with your feet, focus on good posture, with the pelvis tucked under, the spine neutral not arched, the head up and the shoulders relaxed."
Step it up
It's tempting to increase your stride length when you want to go faster, "but it actually slows you down because you have to propel yourself over your hips, and this may cause injury," Drake says. "Instead, up your cadence [step frequency]."
Work on the ball
Top athletes use this simple exercise to improve their walking: "Sit on a swiss ball, feet together, back straight," Drake says. "Lift one foot off the floor and hold. You'll probably wobble at first, so put the foot down and try again. Hold for 10 seconds on each foot, then repeat a few times. This is a controlled movement that improves body alignment and walking posture."
Use your upper body
Walking isn't just about the legs. "Using your arms increases speed and counterbalances your hips," Drake says. "Swing them back and forth powerfully, but don't let them come farther up or across than your sternum, as this wastes energy and unbalances you."
Feel the position
Perfect walking position is leaning slightly forward. "To get an idea of how this feels," Drake says, "stand with your feet together, as upright as possible with a straight line from ear lobes to ankles. Tilt forwards from the ankles until you're grabbing the floor with your toes. This is the position in which you should walk."