17th Annual ECSS-Congress, Bruges 2012

Abstract details

Abstract-ID: 646
Session: [MO-BN04] BM Balance & Stability
Lecture room: G102
Date & time: 02.07.2014 / 14:00 - 15:00
Title of the paper: FOOT STRIKE PATTERNS IN LONG-DISTANCE RUNNING: BIOMECHANICAL AND PHYSIOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS
Authors: Ogueta-Alday, A., Rodríguez-Marroyo, J.A., García-López, J.
Institution: University of León
Department: Physical Education and Sports, Institute of Biomedicine (IBIOMED)
Country: Spain
Abstract text Introduction The possible relationships between foot strike pattern, running injuries and performance are some of the current topics of discussion (Hayes and Caplan, 2012; Kasmer et al., 2012). There is controversy about the influence of foot strike pattern on long-distance running performance (Kasmer et al., 2012). Various studies have only approached it from one point of view: performance, physiology or biomechanics (Ogueta-Alday et al., 2012; Perl et al., 2012). Therefore, the aim of the study was to analyse simultaneously the influence of the foot strike pattern on biomechanical and physiological characteristics in well-trained runners with a similar level of performance. Methods Twenty long-distance runners participated (range of 66:40-74:09 mm:ss in half-marathon), and were divided into two groups according to their foot strike pattern: rearfoot (RF, n=10) and midfoot/forefoot runners (MF, n=10). Anthropometric characteristics were measured (height, body mass, BMI, skinfolds, circumferences and lengths) without differences between RF and MF. Physiological (VO2max, anaerobic threshold and running economy) and biomechanical characteristics (contact and flight times, step rate and step length) were registered during both incremental and submaximal tests on a treadmill. Results No significant differences in VO2max and anaerobic threshold were obtained between both groups. However, RF were more economical than MF at submaximal speeds (57-81% of VO2max). Step rate and step length were not different between groups, but RF showed longer contact time (p<0.01) and shorter flight time (p<0.01) than MF at all speeds. Significant relationships (p<0.05) were found between step rate at submaximal speeds and VO2max (r=0.47-0.66). Discussion The differences in both contact and flight times are in consonance with previous studies (Hayes and Caplan, 2012; Ogueta-Alday et al., 2012), and could justify the differences in running economy. It was not clear the theoretical advantage of MF at low running speeds (<15 km/h), although further studies should analyse higher intensities. Runners with higher VO2max possibly tried to minimize the neuromuscular demands rather than the energetic expenditure by increasing step rate. Future studies about long-term effects of stride rate manipulation on running economy are necessary. References Hayes P, Caplan N. (2012). J Sports Sci, 30(12), 1275-1283. Kasmer ME, Liu XC, Roberts KG, Valadao JM. (2012). Int J Sports Physiol Perfom, in press. Ogueta-Alday A, Morante JC, Rodríguez-Marroyo JA, García-López J. (2012). J Strength Cond Res, in press. Perl DP, Daoud AI, Lieberman DE. (2012). Med Sci Sports Exerc, 44(7), 1335-1343.
Topic: Biomechanics
Keyword I: Running economy
Keyword II: Rearfoot/forefoot
Keyword III: Contact time