Novice runners show greater changes in kinematics with fatigue compared with competitive runners

Ellen Maas, Jorien De Bie, Riet Vanfleteren, Wouter Hoogkamer, Benedicte Vanwanseele
Sports Biomechanics 2018, 17 (3): 350-360
Fatigue, developed over the course of a run, may cause changes in running kinematics. Training status may influence the effect of fatigue on running kinematics, since well trained, competitive runners are used to running until exhaustion, whereas novice runners are not. This study aimed to determine changes in running kinematics during an exhaustive run in both novice (NOVICE) and competitive (COMP) long-distance runners. About 15 NOVICE and 15 COMP runners performed a treadmill run, until voluntary exhaustion at 3,200 m time trial pace. Joint angles and global trunk and pelvis angles were recorded at the beginning and at the end of the run. In both groups, peak pelvic anterior tilt, pelvic rotation range of motion (both during stance phase) and ankle plantar flexion during swing phase increased after the exhaustive run. There was a significant interaction effect between group and exhaustion for peak forward trunk lean, which increased only in the NOVICE group, and for hip abduction during mid-swing, which increased in NOVICE and decreased in COMP runners. In conclusion, NOVICE runners showed larger kinematic adjustments when exhausted than COMP runners. This may affect their running performance and should be taken into account when assessing a runner's injury risk.

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