Relationship Between Running Economy and Kinematic Parameters in Long-Distance Runners

J Strength Cond Res. 2019 Jul;33(7):1921-1928. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003040.


Pizzuto, F, Fonseca de Oliveira, C, Amorim Soares, TS, Rago, V, Silva, G, and Oliveira, J. Relationship between running economy and kinematic parameters in long-distance runners. J Strength Cond Res 33(7): 1921-1928, 2019-The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between running economy (RE) and sagittal, frontal, and transverse plane kinematic parameters in long-distance runners. A secondary purpose was to identify the kinematic predictors of RE during running at the lowest RE value, representing an individual's most efficient running intensity. Twenty recreational long-distance runners ran 3 submaximal stages on a treadmill (65, 75, and 85% of velocity at maximum oxygen consumption). Respiratory data were collected using a portable gas analysis system. Kinematics were gathered using passive retroreflective markers and 8 high-resolution infrared cameras to collect the respective trajectories. Hip, knee, and ankle angles at foot strike and stance phase, as well as spatio-temporal parameters were calculated during each gait cycle. Knee flexion/extension range of motion (ROM), knee ab/adduction ROM, and hip ab/adduction ROM during the stance phase of the gait cycle showed positive moderate to large correlations with RE (r ± 90% confidence intervals = 0.51 ± 0.29; 0.49 ± 0.30; 0.53 ± 0.28, respectively). Knee and hip ab/adduction ROMs during the stance phase are predictors of RE, accounting for 44% of RE variance. Therefore, sagittal and frontal plane kinematics affect RE-inducing alterations in running performance. Coaches, athletic trainers, and anyone involved in running training prescription should consider a relationship between these parameters to ensure optimal technique and, consequently, to improve RE in recreational long-distance runners.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ankle Joint / physiology
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Exercise Test
  • Hip Joint / physiology
  • Humans
  • Joints / physiology*
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Running / physiology*