Transient Effect at the Onset of Human Running

Biosensors (Basel). 2020 Sep 8;10(9):117. doi: 10.3390/bios10090117.


While training and competing as a runner, athletes often sense an unsteady feeling during the first meters on the road. This sensation, termed as transient effect, disappears after a short period as the runners approach their individual running rhythm. The foundation of this work focuses on the detection and quantification of this phenomenon. Thirty athletes ran two sessions over 60 min on a treadmill at moderate speed. Three-dimensional acceleration data were collected using two MEMS sensors attached to the lower limbs. By using the attractor method and Fourier transforms, the transient effect was isolated from noise and further components of human cyclic motion. A substantial transient effect was detected in 81% of all measured runs. On average, the transient effect lasted 5.25 min with a range of less than one minute to a maximum of 31 min. A link to performance data such as running level, experience and weekly training hours could not be found. The presented work provides the methodological basis to detect and quantify the transient effect at moderate running speeds. The acquisition of further physical or metabolic performance data could provide more detailed information about the impact of the transient effect on athletic performance.

Keywords: accelerometer; attractor method; kinematics of human cyclic motion; motion analysis; transient effect.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Performance
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Exercise Test
  • Humans
  • Running*