Catalog Home Page

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