An 8-Week Running Training Program Modifies Impact Accelerations during Running
The deceleration of the body at each foot strike during running generates a shock wave that is transmitted from the foot to the head. An elevated magnitude of this wave, measured as impact accelerations, has been associated with increased risk of injury in athletes. Even though a number of training strategies such as realtime
feedback have aimed to modify the athlete’s running technique and reduce their injury risk, the instructions given to these runners are vague and difficult to replicate by other runners. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyse if an 8-week running program specifically focused on improving running technique influenced stride and impact accelerations during running. Twenty-nine recreational runners underwent a supervised program consisting of 3 sessions of 30 minutes per week during 8 weeks. In addition, before and after the running program, participants carried out a 20-min running test at 80% of their individual HRmax where stride and tibial and head impact acceleration parameters were collected. Although the program did not influence stride rate and stride length, a reduction of the tibial and head acceleration magnitudes (by 8% (p=0.023) and 42% (p<0.001), respectively) and acceleration rates (by 16% (p=0.019) and 44% (p<0.001), respectively) were observed after the running program. This study demonstrated that this type of training could not only be improving the athletes running technique, but also potentially reducing their injury risk as a consequence of the lower impact accelerations provoked by the resulting running technique.