Thursday, December 14

When Runners Unknowingly Change Form

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A new study has suggested that runners who continue running even when they are exhausted unknowingly change their running form and it may increase likeliness of getting injured.

A study by Tracy Dierks, of the Indiana University, found that toward the end of a normal running session, runners generally displayed an increase in motion in their hips, knees and ankles.

“Our study showed that at the end of a normal run, when they were getting tired, their mechanics were beginning to change. When you notice fatigue, you’re most likely putting yourself at increased risk for injuries if you continue because it’s more difficult to control the motion ranges,” said Dierks.

Dierks said an excessive range of motion in the joints generally is associated with overuse injuries. The extra motion makes it harder for the muscles, tendons and ligaments to handle the strain forces related to running. Common overuse injuries in runners are patellofemoral pain syndrome and iliotibial band syndrome at the knee and plantar fasciitis at the foot.

The study involved 20 uninjured recreational runners ages 18-45. The runners ran on a treadmill until they either reached 85 per cent of the subject”s heart rate maximum or a score of 17 (out of 20) on the rating of perceived exertion (RPE).

By the end of their runs, all of the runners reported an RPE of at least 15 and studies have shown that RPEs between 13-15 indicate fatigue.

The study was published in the Journal of Biomechanics .


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