The vast majority of theses in this collection are open access and freely available. There are a small number of theses that have access restricted to the WWU campus. For off-campus access to a thesis labeled "Campus Only Access," please log in here with your WWU universal ID, or talk to your librarian about requesting the restricted thesis through interlibrary loan.

Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Health and Human Development

First Advisor

Suprak, David N. (David Nathan)

Second Advisor

Knutzen, Kathleen

Third Advisor

Brilla, Lorraine R., 1955-


Lately, barefoot running has received attention from many acknowledged researchers and athletes alike. If alterations in running mechanics related to fatigue are found to be different while running barefoot, it may help to identify the practicality and efficacy of barefoot running in terms of injury prevention. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of global fatigue on muscle activation and the rate of shock attenuation during barefoot (BFT) and shod (SHD) running in habitually shod runners. METHODS: Eleven well-trained runners were recruited from the community to complete protocols in two different footwear conditions (BFT and SHD). Each condition consisted of two instrumented 100-meter run trials (pre- and postfatigue) where data for the rate of tibial acceleration (RA) and preactivation iEMG of the tibialis anterior (TA) and medial gastrocnemius (MG) were gathered. Between each trial, subjects completed a 30-minute maximal effort fatiguing run in shoes on an outdoor running track. The two conditions differed only in footwear donned for the instrumented trials, were separated by 3- 7 days, and were preceded by 36 hours of non-exercise rest to reduce confounding fatigue. Three two-by-two repeated measures ANOVAs with factors Time (pre, post) and Footwear (BFT, SHD) were applied with an alpha level of 0.05. RESULTS: The results revealed a significant difference for RA based on condition. BFT yielded higher acceleration rates than SHD (1646.64 g/s vs. 650.93 g/s; p < 0.001). RA for both conditions remained unchanged following fatigue, showing an equal ability to attenuate impact shock. TA iEMG responded differently to fatigue based on condition, according to a significant interaction observed (p = 0.031). Following fatigue, TA iEMG increased by 8.66% SHD and decreased by 12.54% BFT (p = 0.015). MG iEMG revealed no significant effect of time or footwear, acting in a similar fashion in all trials. CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that runners may adopt different shank muscle coordination strategies while running barefoot and shod. In addition, these strategies appear to be affected differently by fatigue in order to adequately attenuate impact shock. It may be suggested to approach barefoot running with caution, especially when an athlete is in a fatigued state.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Fatigue--Physiological effect; Foot--Muscles; Running--Physiological aspects; Ground reaction force (Biomechanics); Running shoes--Physiological effect; Human mechanics




masters theses




Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Included in

Kinesiology Commons