European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 87, Issue 4, pp 403–408

Relationship between shock attenuation and stride length during running at different velocities

  • John A. Mercer
  • Jason Vance
  • Alan Hreljac
  • Joseph Hamill
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00421-002-0646-9

Cite this article as:
Mercer, J.A., Vance, J., Hreljac, A. et al. Eur J Appl Physiol (2002) 87: 403. doi:10.1007/s00421-002-0646-9

Abstract.

The purpose of the study was to investigate the characteristics of shock attenuation during high-speed running. Maximal running speed was identified for each subject [n=8 males, 25 (SD 4.6) years; 80 (8.9) kg; 1.79 (0.06) m] as the highest speed that could be sustained for about 20 s on a treadmill. During testing, light-weight accelerometers were securely mounted to the surface of the distal antero-medial aspect of the leg and frontal aspect of the forehead. Subjects completed running conditions of 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and 100% of their maximal speeds with each condition lasting about 20 s. Stride length, stride frequency, leg and head peak impact acceleration were recorded from the acceleration profiles. Shock attenuation was analyzed by extracting specific sections of the acceleration profiles and calculating the ratio of head to leg power spectral densities across the 10–20 Hz frequency range. Both stride length and stride frequency increased across speeds (P<0.05) and were correlated with running speed (stride length r=0.92, stride frequency r=0.89). Shock attenuation increased about 20% per m·s–1 across speeds (P<0.05), which was similar to the 17% increase in stride length per m·s–1. Additionally, shock attenuation was correlated with stride length (r=0.71) but only moderately correlated with stride frequency (r=0.40) across speeds. It was concluded that shock attenuation increased linearly with running speed and running kinematic changes were characterized primarily by stride length changes. Furthermore, the change in shock attenuation was due to increased leg not head peak impact acceleration across running speeds.

Accelerometry Impact Stride length Stride frequency

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • John A. Mercer
    • 1
  • Jason Vance
    • 1
  • Alan Hreljac
    • 2
  • Joseph Hamill
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Department of Kinesiology, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Box 453034, Las Vegas, NV 89154-3034, USA
  2. 2.University of California, Sacramento, Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, SLN 3002, 6000 J Street, Sacremento, CA 95819-6073, USA
  3. 3.University of Massachusetts, Department of Exercise Science, 110 Totman, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts, 30 Eastman Lane, Amherst, MA 01003-9258, USA