Purpose. Examining and understanding the biomechanics of novice runners and experienced runners can further improve our knowledge within the field of running mechanics and running injuries. The purpose of this study was to classify the differences in lower limb biomechanics during a 3.3 m/s running task among both experienced runners and novice runners. Method. Twenty-four participants (12 experienced runners and 12 novice runners) ran at 3.3 m/s across a force plate; kinematics and kinetics data were collected by the Vicon motion system and Kistler force plate. Group comparisons were made using an independent samples -test to identify differences in the impact peak, loading rate, contact time, ankle, knee, and hip joint kinematics and kinetics during the stance phase. Results. No significant differences were observed between novice and experienced runners for both ankle and knee joint kinetics except that the ankle joint plantar flexion torque was significantly greater in the novice runners. However, the plantar flexion, dorsiflexion, range of motion (ROM), plantar flexion torque, and max angular velocity of ankle joint significantly increased in novice runners than inexperienced runners. Additionally, the flexion angle and range of motion of the hip joint were observed to be larger in the novice runners. Moreover, the maximum extension torque and the maximum extension power in the hip joint were significantly increased in the experienced runners. There were no significant differences in the first peak, contact time, and average vertical loading rate. Novice runners showed a larger vertical instantaneous loading rate than experienced runners. Conclusion. These preliminary findings indicate that novice runners are prone to running injuries in comparison to experienced runners. Novice runners showed larger kinematics and kinetic parameters in the joint of the ankle and hip. Novice runners should enhance muscle strength in the hip and choose scientific training methods.
Running is one of the most popular recreational physical activities in the world. Regular running helps prevent the incidence of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and obesity [1, 2]. Because of easy accessibility, many people prefer participating in long-distance running which can increase cardiopulmonary function and relieve psychological stress . Unfortunately, excessive running can trigger running-related injuries and musculoskeletal injuries to develop [4, 5]. Running injuries are mainly lower limb injuries, primarily knee joint injuries, especially in the front of the knee (such as patellofemoral joint pain) [6–8]. Other common injuries include strains of the tibia, Achilles tendon, gastrocnemius, foot, and thigh muscles .
A previous study has shown that the risks of overuse running injury were increased from 20% to 70% in recreational and competitive distance runners . Videbæk et al. have demonstrated the incidence of injury per 1000 hours of running, in which the rate of injury was 17.8% of novice runners compared to recreational runners (7.7%) and ultramarathon runners (7.2%) . Of all populations, novice runners experience a high rate of injury. Novice runner’s injury rate was higher compared to recreational, competitive, or marathon runners . It is important to focus on injury prevention among novice runners. Nevertheless, there are few research recommendations for novice runners who desire to begin running training. There are many reasons which can cause running injuries, such as error training, the difference in running surface, different running habits, and running shoes [12, 13]. Although scientific researchers and clinical staff have been working hard to help runners reduce running-related injuries, the incidence of injuries has remained high for many years .
Epidemiological studies have found that overuse injuries were associated with kinematic variables of lower limb joints: the increased hip interrotation and hip adduction [13, 15]. Novacheck also found that the increased eversion angle velocity and ankle eversion angle might trigger the development of overuse injuries (Sallis et al., 1992). Running-related injuries were associated with ground reaction force, specifically increased vertical loading rate and vertical instantaneous loading rate, and the first peak caused the tibial stress fractures .
Running-related injuries especially in the knee joint have the characteristics of the frequent occurrence in people without running experience [17, 18]. Psychological fear of running-related injuries makes it difficult for nonrunning habit groups to form running habits , which hinders the widespread development of running.
Thus, several studies show a biomechanical difference between novice and experienced runners. Schmitz et al. found that there were no significant differences in impact peak, loading rate, peak nonsagittal hip kinematics, or strength among the novice runners and competitive runners. However, novice runners showed larger peak hip internal rotation and a decrease in trunk side-plank endurance . When novice runners and competitive runners ran in a state of fatigue, novice runners showed larger hip abduction and peak trunk lean during midswing . Van Mechelen proposed that about 50% to 75% of sports injuries may be due to overuse injuries caused by the repeated repetition of the same action. Factors related to running injuries include a history of previous sports injuries, a lack of running experience, participation in running competitions, and running long distances per week . Moreover, the effect of running experience on the kinematics and kinetic energy of the lower limb remains unclear. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine the effect of running experienced on lower limb biomechanical changes during the stance phase at 3.3 m/s among both experienced runners and novice runners. The hypotheses were that the novice runners’ group would show higher changes in kinematics and kinetics when compared with experienced runners.
Two populations were recruited using flyers around the society and university: experienced runners and novice runners. The experienced runners consisted of 12 males that had been running at least 20 miles per week and the running experience was more than 5 years. The novice runner consisted of 12 males who ran 2 or 5 miles per week. A novice runner was defined as an individual having no former experience in running and never taken part in a running competition. All information about the 24 endurance runners is given in Table 1. Only subjects having the target foot length of US size 9 (±0.5) and self-reported as right leg dominant (defined as the preferred kicking leg) were included. Exclusion criteria consisted of any spinal or lower extremity surgery or any knee ligament or cartilage pathology in the past year. For this test, all the participants were rearfoot strikers (RFS) . Written informed consent was obtained from the subjects, and the testing procedures were approved by Ningbo University.
Running experience (years)