Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Changes in running mechanics and Spring-Mass behaviour during a 5-km time trial

Girard, O., Millet, G., Slawinski, J., Racinais, S. and Micallef, J. (2013) Changes in running mechanics and Spring-Mass behaviour during a 5-km time trial. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 34 (9). pp. 832-840.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


Research into the biomechanical manifestation of fatigue during exhaustive runs is increasingly popular but additional understanding of the adaptation of the spring-mass behaviour during the course of strenuous, self-paced exercises continues to be a challenge in order to develop optimized training and injury prevention programs. This study investigated continuous changes in running mechanics and spring-mass behaviour during a 5-km run. 12 competitive triathletes performed a 5-km running time trial (mean performance: ̴17 min 30 s) on a 200 m indoor track. Vertical and anterior-posterior ground reaction forces were measured every 200 m by a 5-m long force platform system, and used to determine spring-mass model characteristics. After a fast start, running velocity progressively decreased (− 11.6%; P<0.001) in the middle part of the race before an end spurt in the final 400–600 m. Stride length (− 7.4%; P<0.001) and frequency (− 4.1%; P=0.001) decreased over the 25 laps, while contact time (+ 8.9%; P<0.001) and total stride duration (+ 4.1%; P<0.001) progressively lengthened. Peak vertical forces (− 2.0%; P<0.01) and leg compression (− 4.3%; P<0.05), but not centre of mass vertical displacement (+ 3.2%; P>0.05), decreased with time. As a result, vertical stiffness decreased (− 6.0%; P<0.001) during the run, whereas leg stiffness changes were not significant (+ 1.3%; P>0.05). Spring-mass behaviour progressively changes during a 5-km time trial towards deteriorated vertical stiffness, which alters impact and force production characteristics.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Georg Thieme Verlag
Copyright: © 2013 Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart
Item Control Page Item Control Page