Mechanical Alterations during 800-m Self-Paced Track Running

Olivier Girard, Gregoire P. Millet, Jean Paul Micallef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


We assessed the time course of running mechanical alterations during an 800-m. On a 200-m indoor track, 18 physical education students performed an 800-m self-paced run. Once per lap, ground reaction forces were measured by a 5-m-long force platform system, and used to determine running kinetics/kinematics and spring-mass characteristics. Compared with 100 m (19.4±1.8 km.h-1) running velocity progressively decreased at 300, 500 m but levelled-off at 700 m marks (-5.7±4.6, -10.4±8.3, and -9.1±13.5%, respectively; P<0.001). Stride length (-8.5±2.3%, P<0.01) and frequency (-1.0±1.5%, P=0.05) along with peak braking (-7.5±4.4%, P<0.05) and push-off forces (-5.1±7.2%, P<0.05) decreased from 100 m to 700 m. Peak vertical forces (-3.0±2.7%; P>0.05) and leg compression (+2.8±3.9%; P>0.05) remained unchanged, whereas centre of mass vertical displacement (+24.0±7.0%; P<0.001) increased during the run. Vertical stiffness decreased (-18.1±4.4%; P<0.001), whereas leg stiffness was unchanged (-3.2±4.6%; P>0.05). During an 800 m by physical education students, highest running velocity was achieved early during the run, with a progressive decrease in the second half of the trial. While vertical ground force characteristics remained unchanged, non-specialist runners produced lower peak braking and push-off forces, in turn leading to shorter stride length. Spring-mass model characteristics changed toward lower vertical stiffness values, whereas leg stiffness did not change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-321
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

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