European Journal of Applied Physiology

, 107:731

Running from Paris to Beijing: biomechanical and physiological consequences

Authors

    • Exercise Physiology LaboratoryJean Monnet University
    • Bâtiment Médecine du Sport, MyologieHôpital Bellevue
  • Jean-Benoît Morin
    • Exercise Physiology LaboratoryJean Monnet University
  • Francis Degache
    • Exercise Physiology LaboratoryJean Monnet University
    • Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationBellevue Hospital, Saint-Etienne University Hospital Center
  • Pascal Edouard
    • Exercise Physiology LaboratoryJean Monnet University
    • Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationBellevue Hospital, Saint-Etienne University Hospital Center
    • Department of Clinical Physiology of Exercise, Units of Sport Medicine and MyologyBellevue Hospital, Saint-Etienne University Hospital Center
  • Léonard Feasson
    • Exercise Physiology LaboratoryJean Monnet University
    • Department of Clinical Physiology of Exercise, Units of Sport Medicine and MyologyBellevue Hospital, Saint-Etienne University Hospital Center
  • Julien Verney
    • Exercise Physiology LaboratoryJean Monnet University
    • Department of Clinical Physiology of Exercise, Units of Sport Medicine and MyologyBellevue Hospital, Saint-Etienne University Hospital Center
  • Roger Oullion
    • Exercise Physiology LaboratoryJean Monnet University
    • Department of Clinical Physiology of Exercise, Units of Sport Medicine and MyologyBellevue Hospital, Saint-Etienne University Hospital Center
Case Study

DOI: 10.1007/s00421-009-1194-3

Cite this article as:
Millet, G.Y., Morin, J., Degache, F. et al. Eur J Appl Physiol (2009) 107: 731. doi:10.1007/s00421-009-1194-3

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the physiological and biomechanical changes occurring in a subject after running 8,500 km in 161 days (i.e. 52.8 km daily). Three weeks before, 3 weeks after (POST) and 5 months after (POST+5) running from Paris to Beijing, energy cost of running (Cr), knee flexor and extensor isokinetic strength and biomechanical parameters (using a treadmill dynamometer) at different velocities were assessed in an experienced ultra-runner. At POST, there was a tendency toward a ‘smoother’ running pattern, as shown by (a) a higher stride frequency and duty factor, and a reduced aerial time without a change in contact time, (b) a lower maximal vertical force and loading rate at impact and (c) a decrease in both potential and kinetic energy changes at each step. This was associated with a detrimental effect on Cr (+6.2%) and a loss of strength at all angular velocities for both knee flexors and extensors. At POST+5, the subject returned to his original running patterns at low but not at high speeds and maximal strength remained reduced at low angular velocities (i.e. at high levels of force). It is suggested that the running pattern changes observed in the present study were a strategy adopted by the subject to reduce the deleterious effects of long distance running. However, the running pattern changes could partly be linked to the decrease in maximal strength.

Keywords

Extreme exerciseUltra-marathonHuman locomotionBiomechanics

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009