Prospective running assessments among division I cross-country athletes

Phys Ther Sport. 2022 May;55:37-45. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2022.02.003. Epub 2022 Feb 11.


Objectives: To prospectively monitor biomechanics, session-rating of perceived exertion (sRPE), and wellness in a cohort of collegiate Division-1 cross-country athletes over the course of a single competitive season.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Methods: Healthy Division-1 cross-country athletes (9 males, 13 females) were prospectively followed over a single competitive cross-country season. Wearable sensors were used to collect biomechanics twice per week, along with surveys to assess sRPE and wellness. Mixed model linear regressions were used to assess the relationship among biomechanical measures to sRPE, and to wellness z-scores.

Results: Stride length, contact time, impact g, pace, weekly mileage, and running a meet in the day prior to the recorded run explained 25.4% of the variance in sRPE scores across the season (R2 = 0.254, p < 0.001). Contact time and braking g helped explain 3.7% of the variance in wellness (R2 = 0.037, F = 5.70, p = 0.01).

Conclusions: There were several identified associations between gait biomechanics and sRPE, yet minimal associations with wellness measures. These findings suggest there are movement adaptations associated with perceived running intensity, however biomechanical measures alone do not lend additional insight into wellness measures.

Keywords: Accelerometer; Collegiate athletes; Gait analysis; Running training; Wearable sensors.

MeSH terms

  • Athletes*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Exertion
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires