Background: Motor control, related to running performance and running related injuries, is affected by progression of fatigue during a prolonged run. Distance runners are usually recommended to train at or slightly above anaerobic threshold (AT) speed for improving performance. However, running at AT speed may result in accelerated fatigue. It is not clear how one adapts running gait pattern during a prolonged run at AT speed and if there are differences between runners with different training experience.
Purposes: To compare characteristics of stride-to-stride variability and complexity during a prolonged run at AT speed between novice runners (NR) and experienced runners (ER).
Methods: Both NR (n = 17) and ER (n = 17) performed a treadmill run for 31 min at his/her AT speed. Stride interval dynamics was obtained throughout the run with the middle 30 min equally divided into six time intervals (denoted as T1, T2, T3, T4, T5 and T6). Mean, coefficient of variation (CV) and scaling exponent alpha of stride intervals were calculated for each interval of each group.
Results: This study revealed mean stride interval significantly increased with running time in a non-linear trend (p<0.001). The stride interval variability (CV) maintained relatively constant for NR (p = 0.22) and changed nonlinearly for ER (p = 0.023) throughout the run. Alpha was significantly different between groups at T2, T5 and T6, and nonlinearly changed with running time for both groups with slight differences.
Significance: These findings provided insights into how the motor control system adapts to progression of fatigue and evidences that long-term training enhances motor control. Although both ER and NR could regulate gait complexity to maintain AT speed throughout the prolonged run, ER also regulated stride interval variability to achieve the goal. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
CitationMo, S., & Chow, D. H. K. (2018). Stride-to-stride variability and complexity between novice and experienced runners during a prolonged run at anaerobic threshold speed. Gait & Posture, 64, 7-11. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2018.05.021
- Training experience
- Anaerobic threshold speed
- Stride interval dynamics
- PG student publication