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Rahel Gilgen-Ammann, Wolfgang Taube, and Thomas Wyss


To quantify gait asymmetry in well-trained runners with and without previous injuries during interval training sessions incorporating different distances.


Twelve well-trained runners participated in 8 high-intensity interval-training sessions on a synthetic track over a 4-wk period. The training consisted of 10 × 400, 8 × 600, 7 × 800, and 6 × 1000-m running. Using an inertial measurement unit, the ground-contact time (GCT) of every step was recorded. To determine gait asymmetry, the GCTs between the left and right foot were compared.


Overall, gait asymmetry was 3.3% ± 1.4%, and over the course of a training session, the gait asymmetry did not change (F 1,33 = 1.673, P = .205). The gait asymmetry of the athletes with a previous history of injury was significantly greater than that of the athletes without a previous injury. However, this injury-related enlarged asymmetry was detectable only at short (400 m), but not at longer, distances (600–1000 m).


The gait asymmetry of well-trained athletes differed, depending on their history of injury and the running distance. To detect gait asymmetries, high-intensity runs over relatively short distances are recommended.

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Rahel Gilgen-Ammann, Thomas Wyss, Severin Troesch, Louis Heyer, and Wolfgang Taube

Context: Successful elite sprint to long-distance runners are known to have shorter ground-contact time (GCT) than their less successful counterparts. Purpose: To investigate whether augmented feedback (aF) about GCT can reduce the time on ground (TOG) per minute in long-distance runners and, if so, whether this reduction improves running performance. Methods: Thirty well-trained runners were allocated to 3 groups. The intervention group (IG) received visual aF about their GCT during 8 high-intensity interval sessions in the 4-wk training period and were instructed to minimize GCT. The 1st control group (CG1) trained with the IG but was not given any feedback. The 2nd control group (CG2) followed their own training routine. Data were obtained pre- and postintervention for all 3 groups. The dependent variable was TOG per minute, computed from step frequency and GCT. Results: The IG significantly reduced TOG (P = .043, −1.7%, 90%CL −3.1;−0.3) and improved their mean 10 × 400-m performance time (P < .001, −1.5%, 90%CL −1.9;−1.1). In contrast, the 2 control groups revealed unchanged values, indicating that normal high-intensity training and an individualized routine without aF were not able to reduce TOG. The fact that CG1 received the same instructions and participated in the same training sessions as the IG underlined that aF was crucial to reduce TOG. Conclusions: The provision of aF about GCT seems to be a promising approach that should be considered during training practice of well-trained runners.