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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2019 August;59(8):1292-7

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.09105-3

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

The effect of running barefoot and in barefoot-style footwear on running economy at two self-determined speeds

Robbie G. COCHRUM 1 , Ryan T. CONNERS 2, John M. COONS 3

1 Department of Human Performance and Sports Science, Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN, USA; 2 Department of Kinesiology, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL, USA; 3 Department of Health and Human Performance, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN, USA



BACKGROUND: The impact of barefoot running and footwear choice on running economy (RE; steady state oxygen consumption) is heavily debated. Therefore, this study measured RE when running barefoot versus two shod conditions.
METHODS: Recreational male runners (N.=8) with experience running in both five-toed minimal (FTMS) and standard cushioned running shoes (SCRS), participated in RE trials while barefoot, FTMS, and SCRS for 5 minutes each trial at both 50% and 70% of speed at maximal oxygen uptake (sVO2max), while RE and step frequency (Sf) were measured. Separate one-way repeated measures ANOVAs were conducted for each footwear condition and each speed, on RE and Sf.
RESULTS: No significant differences in RE were found at 50% or 70% sVO2max. Step frequency was significantly different at 70% sVO2max (F(2, 14)=6.74, P=0.009, partial ω2=0.06, as running barefoot (173.00±10.50 steps/min) exhibited a higher Sf than running in FTMS (68.81±10.94 steps/min; P=0.008) or SCRS (166.62±8.42 steps/min; P=0.044) conditions.
CONCLUSIONS: No statistical RE benefit was found when running barefoot over FTMS or SCRS, possibly explained by a Sf adaptation at higher speeds. However, practically speaking, when shoe mass is controlled for, footwear choice has a moderate but worthwhile effect on RE. Consequently, formal familiarization and/or training in the FTMS may improve RE when compared to running in SCRS or barefoot in certain individuals.


KEY WORDS: Running; Athletic performance; Oxygen consumption

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