The spanning set technique quantifies intertrial variability as the span between polynomial curves representing upper and lower standard deviation curves of a repeated movement. This study aimed to assess the validity of the spanning set technique in quantifying variability and specifically to determine its sensitivity to variability presented at different phases of a movement cycle. Knee angle data were recorded from a male participant completing 12 overground running trials. Variability was added to each running trial at five different phases of the running stride. Ten variability magnitudes were also used to assess the effect of variability magnitude on the spanning set measure. Variability was quantified in all trials using mean deviation and the spanning set measure. Results of a repeated-measures ANOVA showed significant differences between the spanning set score for trials using different phases of added variability. In contrast, mean deviation values showed no difference related to the phase of added variability. Therefore, the spanning set technique cannot be recommended as a valid measure of intertrial movement variability.
Michael Hanlon, Philip Kearney and Joan Condell
Adam C. Clansey, Mark J. Lake, Eric S. Wallace, Tom Feehally and Michael Hanlon
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of prolonged high-intensity running on impact accelerations in trained runners. Thirteen male distance runners completed two 20-minute treadmill runs at speeds corresponding to 95% of onset of blood lactate accumulation. Leg and head accelerations were collected for 20 s every fourth minute. Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) scores were recorded during the third and last minute of each run. RPE responses increased (P < .001) from the start (11.8 ± 0.9, moderate intensity) of the first run to the end (17.7 ± 1.5, very hard) of the second run. Runners maintained their leg impact acceleration, impact attenuation, stride length, and stride frequency characteristics with prolonged run duration. However, a small (0.11–0.14g) but significant increase (P < .001) in head impact accelerations were observed at the end of both first and second runs. It was concluded that trained runners are able to control leg impact accelerations during sustained high-intensity running. Alongside the substantial increases in perceived exertion levels, running mechanics and frequency domain impact attenuation levels remained constant. This suggests that the present trained runners are able to cope from a mechanical perspective despite an increased physiological demand.