International Journal of Exercise Science 13(4): 427-437, 2020. Running economy (RE) is defined as the oxygen consumption (VO2) or caloric unit cost required to move at a specific velocity and is an important performance marker. Ground contact time (GCT) has been associated with RE; however, it has not been established how GCT imbalances between feet impact RE. Purpose: Determine the relationship between cadence, GCT, and GCT imbalances and RE. Methods: 11 NCAA Division I distance runners (7 male) completed a graded exercise test on a treadmill to determine lactate threshold (LT) and VO2max. Body composition was also assessed via DEXA. Subjects ran with a heart rate monitor capable of measuring cadence, GCT, and GCT balance between feet. VO2and respiratory exchange ratio were recorded over the last minute of the 5-minute stages. RE expressed as caloric unit cost (kcal·kg-1·km-1) was calculated for the stage determined to be just below the LT (prior to > 4mmol/L) and was correlated with cadence, GCT, and GCT imbalance by Pearson correlations. Results: Pearson correlations between RE and the running dynamics measures were as follows: cadence (r= -.444, p= .171), GCT (r= .492, p= .125), GCT Imbalance (r= .808, p< .005). An independent t-test revealed greater (p= .023) leg lean mass imbalances in runners with larger GCT imbalances compared to runners with smaller GCT imbalances. Conclusion: GCT imbalances are strongly related to impaired RE. Future research should determine how to improve GCT imbalances and if doing so improves RE.
Joubert, Dustin P.; Guerra, Nicholas A.; Jones, Eric J.; Knowles, Erica G.; and Piper, Aaron D.
"Ground Contact Time Imbalances Strongly Related to Impaired Running Economy,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 13
4, Pages 427 - 437.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol13/iss4/8