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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2022 Jan 27

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.22.13049-5


lingua: Inglese

Running biomechanics alterations during a 40 km mountain race

Stéphane VERMAND 1, 2 , Frank-Jourdan FERRARI 1, 2, Fabienne CHERDO 2, Cécile GARSON 2, Mellie LAVENANT 2, Marie-Charlotte ALEX 2, Aurelie CASTILLO 2, Fanny RENARD 2, Olivier GARCIN 2

1Performance, Health, Measurement, Society (PSMS), University of Reims Champagne Ardenne, Reims, France ; 2 Association of sports podiatrist Podo’xygène, Tourcoing, France


OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to analyse running biomechanics alterations according to different slopes (flat, uphill and downhill) and distance, during a 40km mountain trail running race.
DESIGN: A repeated measures study at different points of a mountain trail running race.
METHODS: Throughout the race, 8 runners were equipped with Runscribe® inertial units placed on each running shoe. Measurements included spatio-temporal parameters (contact time, step frequency, stride length, running speed), kinetic (impact peak and braking force) and kinematic data (foot pronation velocity and foot pronation excursion). For data analysis, the race was divided in two
halves, from which three types of matching segments were extracted: 2 uphill sections (U1, U2), 2 downhill sections (D1, D2) and 2 flat sections (F1, F2).
RESULTS: Intra-section comparisons revealed that during the second part of the race, running speed decreased in all sections. In uphill sections, stride length increased, step frequency and contact time variability decreased. On flat and downhill sections, contact time increased whereas step frequency and stride length decreased. Step frequency and contact time variability increased for both uphill and downhill sections. With regards to downhill sections only, impact peak, horizontal braking force and foot pronation velocity decreased. Foot strike pattern switched from a rearfoot to a midfoot-strike pattern. Contact time, horizontal breaking force pronation velocity and foot strike pattern variability increased.
CONCLUSIONS: Over a 40 km mountain trail running race, changes in running biomechanics are important data which should be taken into account by runners and coaches for training preparation, race strategy as well as for injury prevention.

KEY WORDS: Running; Biomechanics; Kinematics, Spatio-temporal; Trail-running

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