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  • Assess the overall running technique

    Hello everybody,

    Using 3D kinematics to assess the running technique of a runner is something very common.
    From this biomechanical assessment, we usually get joint angles, temporal-spatio parameters or discrete values (peak, range of motion, etc).

    However, the issue from my point of view is that:
    - it is hard for the runner himself (not a specialist in biomechanics) to interpret these values or curves,
    - getting an overview of the running technique level can be tricky when looking at this huge amount of information

    Thus, I am posting this message to see if some of you are aware of a validated "score" or a parameter (using most of the information mentioned above) that can be used to assess the overall running technique of runner.

    Thank you in advance

    Vincent

  • #2
    Re: Assess the overall running technique

    Vincent,

    We developed our 3D GAIT system trying to address the same problem you have outlined. Instead of providing the clinician and/or runner with information about the actual angle, angular velocity, etc. we compare the runner's 3D kinematic data to a large database of a homogeneous sub-group and transform the runner's value into a percentile rank. The mean of the sub-group would represent the 100th percentile or the typical (expected) movement pattern for that sub-group. Values lower than 100 would indicate either reduced or excessive motion. The data are sub-grouped based on (1) male vs female, (2) competitive vs recreational runner (self-reported by the runner), and (3) footstrike angle (forefoot vs rearfoot). In the future, and as we accumulate more data, we will further sub-group by age.

    You can see more about our 3D GAIT system here: www.3dgaitanalysis.com including our research and worldwide network of clinical and research partners.

    Cheers

    Reed

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    • #3
      Re: Assess the overall running technique

      Good morning Reed and Biomech-L readers,

      Thank you for your reply.
      Your idea of transforming data is actually very nice.
      Do you have a paper describing it in the gait/running context?
      Does it mean you will obtain one "score" for one parameter?

      Two issues here regarding the subject of my topic are that:
      - you need to have a huge database so you can create many sub-groups.
      - you do not get an overall score, do you? This was the main focus of my thread: get a "score" that can summarize your running technique (like running economy/efficiency for example... But is calculating the running economy or efficiency accurate enough with only kinematic data? This is another topic probably)

      Anyway, thank you again for your time Reed

      Vincent

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      • #4
        Re: Assess the overall running technique

        Originally posted by vfohanno69 View Post
        - you do not get an overall score, do you? This was the main focus of my thread: get a "score" that can summarize your running technique (like running economy/efficiency for example... But is calculating the running economy or efficiency accurate enough with only kinematic data? This is another topic probably)
        Hi Vincent,

        I'm not sure of the intimate details, but I believe Dr. Ferber's method (and other related ones, e.g. Mahalanobis Distance from PCA, Schwart'z Gait Deviation Index) does produce a single number that indicates how far from "normal" a subject's motion is, relative to a particular population.

        I wouldn't expect a value like that, drawn from running mechanics, to relate in a simple or predictable fashion to economy/efficiency/etc., but I'm speculating there.

        Ross

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        • #5
          Re: Assess the overall running technique

          Hi Ross,

          Thank you for your advises. I will investigate them.
          I have something to start with and this is perfectly fine for me.
          I am still not very fond of using normative data because from our experinence (we tried to use a score in the past):
          - Normative data in running is way more complicated to handle than in clinical gait analysis
          - It is easy to disagree with/change the interpretation of the subject data depending of the normative data you have chosen.
          - Some good runners can be out the norm and thus get a bad score but it does not mean that they are bad runners (It is just a different way to perform at a high level)

          Thank you again Ross and everybody for your time.

          Have a great time during your summer vacation and/or conferences (I will be in the ESB in two weeks from now if someone wants to pursue the conversation on this topic)

          Vincent

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