A Paradigm of Uphill Running


The biomechanical management of bioenergetics of runners when running uphill was investigated. Several metabolic and mechanical variables have been studied simultaneously to spread light on the locomotory strategy operated by humans for effective locomotion. The studied variables were: heart rate, heart rate variability, oxygen intake and blood lactate, metabolic cost, kinematics, ground reaction force and muscular activity. 18 high-level competitive male runners ran at 70% VO2max on different uphill slope conditions: 0%, 2% and 7%. Modifications were significant in almost all variables studied, and were more pronounced with increasing incline. Step frequency/length and ground reaction force are adjusted to cope with both the task of uphill progression and the available (limited) metabolic power. From 0% to 7% slope, step frequency and ground reaction force and metabolic cost increased concurrently by 4%, 12% and 53%, respectively (with a 4% step length decrease as well). It is hypothesised that this biomechanical management is allowed by an environment-body communication performed by means of specific muscular activity. © 2013 Padulo et al.

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