In order to compare fast and slow runners with respect to the relative timing of the compensations they make to maintain a given running velocity during a prolonged effort, coordinate data were collected periodically for 9 fast and 10 slow volunteers performing a treadmill run to volitional exhaustion at a speed approximating their 10-km race pace. Statistically significant but small changes were noted in the average stride length, range of motion at the thigh, maximum thigh flexion, maximum knee extension, maximum knee flexion, and head-neck-trunk segment (HNT) angle at maximum thigh extension. No statistically significant differences were detected, however, with regard to the relative timing of the compensations demonstrated by the two groups. It was concluded that runners demonstrate subtle compensations in running pattern as they approach volitional exhaustion. In addition, it was concluded that the performance level of the runners as reflected by the ranges of 10-km run performance used in this investigation does not affect the relative timing of the compensations. Finally, it appears that some individuals are more sensitive to the effects of fatigue as evidenced by extreme compensations in running pattern.
William L. Siler is with the Dept. of Health and Kinesiology, The university of Texas at Tyler, Tyler, TX 75701-6699. Philip E. Martin is with the Exercise and Sport Research Institute, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85281.