Impact reduction during running: efficiency of simple acute interventions in recreational runners.
Loading rate (LR) is a measure of the vertical ground reaction force and the time to impact force peak while running. It is understood that altering loading rate plays a role in management of injuries sustained by runners.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of simple interventions on LR: wearing racing-specific sneakers (RACE), increasing stride frequency 10% (FREQ), adopting a mid-foot strike pattern (MIDFOOT) or a combination of the three interventions (COMBI). 9 habitual rearfoot strikers participated in the study, running on an instrumented treadmill.
LR and EMG were measured through the gait cycle. LR was significantly reduced in both MIDFOOT and COMBI, with eradication of the impact peak in early stance. There was no significant LR change with FREQ or RACE. Midfoot striking increased calf muscle and decreased anterior tibial EMG activity.
The study used conventional drop rather than minimalist sneakers, and did not examine cadence increases greater than 10%. A small sample size limits interpretation of results but concurs with prior EMG and kinetics literature demonstrating LR changes with midfoot striking. > From: Giandolini et al., Eur J Appl Physiol 113 (2013) 599–609. All rights reserved to Springer-Verlag.
The Pubmed summary of the article can be found here.