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 (F1,33 = 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.
Gilgen-Ammann and Wyss are with the Swiss Federal Inst of Sport Magglingen SFISM, Magglingen, Switzerland. Taube is with the Dept of Medicine, Movement and Sport Science, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland.