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. 2019 Nov 30;70:25-38.
doi: 10.2478/hukin-2019-0036. eCollection 2019 Nov.

How Do Spatiotemporal Parameters and Lower-Body Stiffness Change With Increased Running Velocity? A Comparison Between Novice and Elite Level Runners

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Free PMC article

How Do Spatiotemporal Parameters and Lower-Body Stiffness Change With Increased Running Velocity? A Comparison Between Novice and Elite Level Runners

Felipe García-Pinillos et al. J Hum Kinet. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

This study aimed to examine the effect of running velocity on spatiotemporal parameters and lower-body stiffness of endurance runners, and the influence of the performance level on those adaptations. Twenty-two male runners (novice [NR], n = 12, and elite runners [ER], n = 10) performed an incremental running test with a total of 5 different running velocities (10, 12, 14, 16, 18 km/h). Each condition lasted 1 min (30 s acclimatization period, and 30 s recording period). Spatiotemporal parameters were measured using the OptoGait system. Vertical (Kvert) and leg (Kleg) stiffness were calculated according to the sine-wave method. A repeated measures ANOVA (2 x 5, group x velocities) revealed significant adaptations (p < 0.05) to increased velocity in all spatiotemporal parameters and Kvert in both NR and ER. ER showed a greater flight time (FT) and step angle (at 18 km/h) (p < 0.05), longer step length (SL) and lower step frequency (SF) (p < 0.05), whereas no between-group differences were found in contact time (CT) nor in the sub-phases during CT at any speed (p ≥ 0.05). ER also showed lower Kvert values at every running velocity (p < 0.05), and no differences in Kleg (p ≥ 0.05). In conclusion, lower SF and Kvert and, thereby, longer FT and SL, seem to be the main spatiotemporal characteristics of high-level runners compared to their low-level counterparts.

Keywords: endurance runners; performance; running kinematics.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Dynamics of spatiotemporal variables (contact time, flight time, step frequency, step angle and step length) with increased running velocity (10-18 km/h) according to the performance level (elite [ER] vs. novice runners [NR]). * indicates within-group differences for high-level athletes between running velocity increments (*p < 0.05; **p < 0.01; ***p < 0.001); ^indicates within-group differences for low-level athletes between running velocity increments (^p < 0.05; ^^p < 0.01; ^^^p < 0.001); † indicates between-group differences (p < 0.05)
Figure 2
Figure 2
Relative value of spatiotemporal parameters with increased running velocity (10-18 km/h) according to the performance level (elite [ER] vs. novice runners [NR]): (A) Contact and flight times (%) during a step cycle; (B) Percentages of the different sub-phases during the ground contact period. Phase 1: initial contact; Phase 2: midstance; Phase 3: propulsion
Figure 3
Figure 3
Vertical (Kvert) and leg stiffness (Kleg) over the running protocol, according to the performance level (elite [ER] vs. novice runners [NR]). * indicates within-group differences, p < 0.05; ** indicates within-group differences between each velocity, p < 0.01, ***indicates within-group differences between each velocity, p < 0.001; † indicates between-group differences (p < 0.05)

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