This study aimed to determine whether the fatigue induced by a mountain ultramarathon (MUM) led to changes in energy cost and kinematic during level and graded running. Pre- and post-race, 14 ultratrail runners ran on a level, uphill (5%) and downhill (5%) treadmill at 10 km · h-1. Kinematic data were acquired using a photocell system. Post-race, the downhill energy cost increased by 13.1% (P <0.001). No change was noted in level and uphill running. Duty factor and stride frequency were increased, whereas swing time, cycle time and stride length were decreased in all conditions (P <0.05). Contact time was increased and the rate of force generation was decreased only in the uphill and downhill conditions (P <0.05). Positive correlations were observed between performance time and the pre- to post-changes in the energy cost of level (r = 0.52, P = 0.04) and uphill running (r = 0.50, P = 0.04). MUM-induced fatigue resulted in physiological and spatiotemporal changes, though the response to fatigue varied considerably between running conditions. These changes resulted in a significant increment only in the downhill energy cost. Incorporating downhill locomotion in the training programmes of ultratrailers may help to improve performance-related physiological and biomechanical parameters.
- Energy cost
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation