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Ricky Watari, Blayne Hettinga, Sean Osis and Reed Ferber

The purpose of this study was to validate measures of vertical oscillation (VO) and ground contact time (GCT) derived from a commercially-available, torso-mounted accelerometer compared with single marker kinematics and kinetic ground reaction force (GRF) data. Twenty-two semi-elite runners ran on an instrumented treadmill while GRF data (1000 Hz) and three-dimensional kinematics (200 Hz) were collected for 60 s across 5 different running speeds ranging from 2.7 to 3.9 m/s. Measurement agreement was assessed by Bland-Altman plots with 95% limits of agreement and by concordance correlation coefficient (CCC). The accelerometer had excellent CCC agreement (> 0.97) with marker kinematics, but only moderate agreement, and overestimated measures between 16.27 mm to 17.56 mm compared with GRF VO measures. The GCT measures from the accelerometer had very good CCC agreement with GRF data, with less than 6 ms of mean bias at higher speeds. These results indicate a torsomounted accelerometer provides valid and accurate measures of torso-segment VO, but both a marker placed on the torso and the accelerometer yield systematic overestimations of center of mass VO. Measures of GCT from the accelerometer are valid when compared with GRF data, particularly at faster running speeds.

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Christian A. Clermont, Sean T. Osis, Angkoon Phinyomark and Reed Ferber

Certain homogeneous running subgroups demonstrate distinct kinematic patterns in running; however, the running mechanics of competitive and recreational runners are not well understood. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine whether we could separate and classify competitive and recreational runners according to gait kinematics using multivariate analyses and a machine learning approach. Participants were allocated to the ‘competitive’ (n = 20) or ‘recreational’ group (n = 15) based on age, sex, and recent race performance. Three-dimensional (3D) kinematic data were collected during treadmill running at 2.7 m/s. A support vector machine (SVM) was used to determine if the groups were separable and classifiable based on kinematic time point variables as well as principal component (PC) scores. A cross-fold classification accuracy of 80% was found between groups using the top 5 ranked time point variables, and the groups could be separated with 100% cross-fold classification accuracy using the top 14 ranked PCs explaining 60.29% of the variance in the data. The features were primarily related to pelvic tilt, as well as knee flexion and ankle eversion in late stance. These results suggest that competitive and recreational runners have distinct, ‘typical’ running patterns that may help explain differences in injury mechanisms.