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Alex V. Rowlands, John M. Schuna Jr., Victoria H. Stiles and Catrine Tudor-Locke

Background:

Previous research has reported peak vertical acceleration and peak loading rate thresholds beneficial to bone mineral density (BMD). Such thresholds are difficult to translate into meaningful recommendations for physical activity. Cadence (steps/min) is a more readily interpretable measure of ambulatory activity.

Objective:

To examine relationships between cadence, peak vertical acceleration and peak loading rate during ambulation and identify the cadence associated with previously reported bone-beneficial thresholds for peak vertical acceleration (4.9 g) and peak loading rate (43 BW/s).

Methods:

Ten participants completed 8 trials each of: slow walking, brisk walking, slow running, and fast running. Acceleration data were captured using a GT3×+ accelerometer worn at the hip. Peak loading rate was collected via a force plate.

Results:

Strong relationships were identified between cadence and peak vertical acceleration (r = .96, P < .05) and peak loading rate (r = .98, P < .05). Regression analyses indicated cadences of 157 ± 12 steps/min (2.6 ± 0.2 steps/s) and 122 ± 10 steps/min (2.0 ± 0.2 steps/s) corresponded with the 4.9 g peak vertical acceleration and 43 BW/s peak loading rate thresholds, respectively.

Conclusions:

Cadences ≥ 2.0 to 2.6 steps/s equate to acceleration and loading rate thresholds related to bone health. Further research is needed to investigate whether the frequency of daily occurrences of this cadence is associated with BMD.

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Konstantinos Tsintzas, Raymond Liu, Clyde Williams, Ian Campbell and George Gaitanos

Seven experienced endurance runners completed a 30-km road race on two occasions separated by 10 days. On each occasion the subjects consumed 250 ml of either a 5% carbohydrate (CHO) solution or nonflavored tap water (W) immediately prior to the start of the race, and 150 ml of the assigned fluid every 5 km thereafter. Performance time for the CHO trial was faster compared with the time recorded for the W trial (128.3 ± 19.9 min vs. 131.2 ± 18.7 min [p<0.01] respectively). Running speed was maintained throughout the race in the CHO trial, whereas a decrease in the running speed occurred after 25 km (p<0.05) in the W trial. No difference was found between the two trials in blood glucose concentration, plasma electrolyte concentrations, body weight loss, change in plasma volume, and rating of perceived exertion. Blood lactate concentration was higher at 25 km during the CHO trial compared with the W trial (p<0.01), but plasma FFA and glycerol concentrations were lower at 30 km during the CHO trial than during the W trial (p<0.05). In conclusion, this study shows that performance time for a 30-km road race is improved after ingesting a 5% CHO solution.

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Joanne L. Fallowfield, Clyde Williams and Rabindar Singh

Recovery from prolonged exercise involves both rehydration and replenishment of endogenous carbohydrate stores. The present study examined the influence of ingesting a carbohydrate-electrolyte (CE) solution following prolonged running, on exercise capacity 4 hr later. Twelve men and 4 women were divided into two matched groups, which were randomly assigned to either a control (P) or a carbohydrate (CHO) condition. Both groups ran at 70% of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) on a level treadmill for 90 min or until volitional fatigue (R,), and they ran at the same %VO2max to exhaustion 4 hr later to assess endurance capacity (R2). The CHO group ingested a 6.9% CE solution providing 1.0 g CHO · kg body weight−1 immediately post-R, and again 2 hr later. The P group ingested equal volumes of a placebo solution. Run times (mean ± SEM) for Rj did not differ between the groups (P 86.3 ± 3.8 min; CHO 87.5 ± 2.5 min). The CHO group ran 22.2 (±3.5) min longer than the P group during R2 (P 39.8 ± 6.1 min; CHO 62.0 ± 6.2 min) (p < .05). Thus, ingesting a 6.9% carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage following prolonged, constant-pace running improves endurance capacity 4 hr later.

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J. Sinclair, J. Isherwood and P.J. Taylor

Chronic injuries are a common complaint in recreational runners. Foot orthoses have been shown to be effective for the treatment of running injuries but their mechanical effects are still not well understood. This study aims to examine the influence of orthotic intervention on multisegment foot kinematics and plantar fascia strain during running. Fifteen male participants ran at 4.0 m·s−1 with and without orthotics. Multisegment foot kinematics and plantar fascia strain were obtained during the stance phase and contrasted using paired t tests. Relative coronal plane range of motion of the midfoot relative to the rearfoot was significantly reduced with orthotics (1.0°) compared to without (2.2°). Similarly, relative transverse plane range of motion was significantly lower with orthotics (1.1°) compared to without (1.8°). Plantar fascia strain did not differ significantly between orthotic (7.1) and nonorthotic (7.1) conditions. This study shows that although orthotics did not serve to reduce plantar fascia strain, they are able to mediate reductions in coronal and transverse plane rotations of the midfoot.

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Mark Abel, James Hannon, David Mullineaux and Aaron Beighle

Background:

Current recommendations call for adults to be physically active at moderate and/or vigorous intensities. Given the popularity of walking and running, the use of step rates may provide a practical and inexpensive means to evaluate ambulatory intensity. Thus, the purpose of this study was to identify step rate thresholds that correspond to various intensity classifications.

Methods:

Oxygen consumption was measured at rest and during 10 minute treadmill walking and running trials at 6 standardized speeds (54, 80, 107, 134, 161, and 188 m·min-1) in 9 men and 10 women (28.8 ± 6.8 yrs). Two observers counted the participants’ steps at each treadmill speed. Linear and nonlinear regression analyses were used to develop prediction equations to ascertain step rate thresholds at various intensities.

Results:

Nonlinear regression analysis of the metabolic cost versus step rates across all treadmill speeds yielded the highest R 2 values for men (R 2 = .91) and women (R 2 = .79). For men, the nonlinear analysis yielded 94 and 125 step·min-1 for moderate and vigorous intensities, respectively. For women, 99 and 135 step·min-1 corresponded with moderate and vigorous intensities, respectively.

Conclusions:

Promoting a step rate of 100 step·min-1 may serve as a practical public health recommendation to exercise at moderate intensity.

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Jennifer Kappenstein, Jaime Fernández-Fernández, Florian Engel and Alexander Ferrauti

The aim of this study was to compare the effect of active (AR) and passive recovery (PR) after a high-intensive repeated sprint running protocol on physiological parameters in children and adults. Blood lactate (La) and blood pH were obtained during two sets of 5 × 5 s all-out sprints and several times during subsequent 30-min recovery in 16 children and 16 adults. End-exercise La was significantly lower and pH significantly higher in children (La: 5.21 ± 2.73 mmol·L1; pH: 7.37 ± 0.06) compared with adults (La: 10.35 ± 5.76 mmol·L−1; pH: 7.27 ± 0.10) (p > .01). La half-life during postexercise recovery was significantly shorter in children (AR: 436 ± 371 s, PR: 830 ± 349 s) than in adults (AR: 733 ± 371 s, PR: 1361 ± 372 s), as well as in active compared with passive recovery for both age groups (p > .01). The age x recovery interaction for La half-life only approached statistical significance (p = .06). The results suggest a faster lactate disappearance and an earlier return to resting pH after a repeated sprint running protocol in children compared with adults and a less pronounced advantage of active recovery in children.

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Benno M. Nigg, Gerald K. Cole and Gert-Peter Brüggemann

Impact forces have been speculated to be associated with the development of musculoskeletal injuries. However, several findings indicate that the concepts of “impact forces” and the paradigms of their “cushioning” may not be well understood in relation to the etiology of running injuries and that complex mechanisms may be responsible for injury development during running. The purposes of this paper are (a) to review impact mechanics during locomotion, (b) to review injuries and changes of biological tissue due to impact loading, and (c) to synthesize the mechanical and biological findings. In addition, directions for future research are discussed. Future research should address the development of noninvasive techniques to assess changes in the morphology and biochemistry of bone, cartilage, tendon, and ligaments; researchers should also try to simulate impact loading during activities such as running, focusing on the interaction of the various loading parameters that determine the acceptable windows of loading for biological tissues.

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Martyn R. Shorten and Darcy S. Winslow

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of increasing impact shock levels on the spectral characteristics of impact shock and impact shock wave attenuation in the body during treadmill running. Twelve male subjects ran at 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0 m s−1 on a treadmill. Axial accelerations of the shank and head were measured using low-mass accelerometers. The typical shank acceleration power spectrum contained two major components which corresponded to the active (5–8 Hz) and impact (12–20 Hz) phases of the time-domain ground reaction force. Both the amplitude and frequency of leg shock transients increased with increasing running speed. Greatest attenuation of the shock transmitted to the head occurred in the 15–50 Hz range. Attenuation increased with increasing running speed. Thus transmission of the impact shock wave to the head was limited, despite large increases in impact shock at the lower extremity.

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George Vagenas and Blaine Hoshizaki

The purpose of this study was to identify the kinematic characteristics of bilateral rearfoot asymmetry during heel–toe running under two experimental conditions: worn (broken-in) running shoes and new (standardized) running shoes. High-speed cinematography (150 fps) was used to film the lower limbs of four male runners in the frontal plane while running on a treadmill at their training pace. Six successive footfalls were analyzed for each subject and selected kinematical variables of the rearfoot function were calculated. Significant asymmetries were found in lower leg angle and Achilles tendon angle at touchdown and at maximum pronation. Total pronation and rearfoot angle were almost symmetric. The angular displacement graphs for the shank and foot revealed a distinct overall asymmetry between the lower limbs in both conditions. The mean values of the kinematical asymmetries were appreciably higher in the new shoe condition. It is proposed that the degree of these asymmetries is subject to changes due to injury, personal running style, and stability of the running shoe. Trends of bilateral dominance specific to rearfoot control in running were identified.

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Ian Rollo, Clyde Williams, Nicholas Gant and Maria Nute

The purpose of this study was to examine the influences of a carbohydrate (CHO) mouth rinse on self-selected running speeds during a 30-min treadmill run. Ten endurance-trained men performed 2 trials, each involving a 10-min warm-up at 60% VO2max followed by a 30-min run. The run was performed on an automated treadmill that allowed the spontaneous selection of speeds without manual input. Participants were asked to run at speeds that equated to a rating of perceived exertion of 15, mouth rinsing with either a 6% CHO or taste-matched placebo (PLA) solution. In addition to recording self-selected speeds and total distance covered the authors assessed the runners’ subjective feelings. The total distance covered was greater during the CHO than during the PLA trial (p < .05). Faster speeds selected during the first 5 min of exercise corresponded with enhanced feelings of pleasure when mouth rinsing with the CHO solution. Mouth rinsing with a CHO solution increased total distance covered during a self-selected 30-min run in comparison with mouth rinsing with a color- and tastematched placebo.