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Date Permissions Signed
Date of Award
Master of Education (MEd)
Health and Human Development
Suprak, David N. (David Nathan)
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
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Newton, Carl Q. (Carl Quinn), "Effects of fatigue on muscle activation and shock attenuation during barefoot running" (2010). WWU Graduate School Collection. 81.