Purpose. We aimed to determine the effect of speed-induced changes in foot contact patterns on the vertical instantaneous loading rate (VILR). We hypothesized that transition runners, i.e. runners that shift towards a mid- (MF) or forefoot contact pattern (FF) when running speed increases, show smaller increases in VILR than non-transition runners, i.e. runners that remain with a rearfoot contact pattern (RF). Methods. Fifty-two male and female runners ran overground at 3.2, 4.1, 5.1 and 6.2 m s−1. Ground reaction forces, lower limb sagittal plane knee and ankle kinematics and plantar pressures were recorded. Multi-level linear regression models were used to assess differences between transition and non-transition runners. Results. Non-transition runners experienced larger speed-induced increases in VILR (48.6 ± 2.6 BW s−1 per m s−1) than transition runners (–1.4 ± 7.6 BW s−1 per m s−1). Transition runners showed higher VILRs and a more flat foot touch down at the same pre-transition speed than non-transition runners. Conclusion. When running speed increases, some runners transition towards more anterior foot contact patterns. This reduces or even eliminates the speed-induced increase in VILR. This result is especially the case for those RF runners who already have relatively high VILRs and flat foot positioning at slower running speeds.
- injury and prevention
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation