Age and training volume influence joint kinetics during running


Recently, we proposed the hypothesis that weekly running volume and preferred running pace may play a role in preserving ankle joint kinetics in middle-age runners as ankle joint kinetics were generally similar in young and middle-aged runners with similar running volume and preferred pace. To further address this hypothesis, we compared lower extremity joint kinetics between high and low training volume runners in both young and middle-aged groups. Joint kinetics calculated from 3D kinematic and ground reaction force data during over-ground running at 2.7 m·s−1 from young and middle-aged runners who ran low or high weekly volume were analyzed. A two-factor analysis of variance was used to compare joint kinetics between age and running volume groups. Positive hip work was greater in middle-aged compared to young runners (P =.005). Plantarflexor torque (P =.009) and positive ankle work (P =.042) were greater in young compared to middle-aged runners. Positive ankle work was also greater in the high compared to the low volume group (P =.021). Finally, age by volume interactions were found for knee extensor torque (P =.024), negative knee work (P =.018), and positive knee work (P =.019) but not for ankle and hip joint kinetics. These findings suggest less distal-to-proximal difference in positive joint work with high running volume in both young and middle-aged runners as a result of greater power generation at the ankle. Given the age main effects, our findings are also the first to suggest the age-related distal-to-proximal shift in joint kinetics appears in middle-aged runners.

Publication Title

Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports