of running-induced fatigue on plantar pressure distribution in novice runners
with different foot types

M & Esmaeili H.  Gait & Posture. 2016; 48: 52-56. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2016.04.029
Take Home Message: A fatigue running protocol caused
increases in forefoot push-off time in all participants, but caused increases
in different foot regions based on arch height.

Running is a common form of physical
activity that has largely positive effects, but due to the repetitive motions
it can result in injury.  The question
remains what role does fatigue play in injury and how might an individual’s
foot structure relate to fatigue and injury. 
The researcher of this study investigated the effects of fatigue on plantar
pressure among 42 novice runners with bilateral high or low medial longitudinal
arch height. The authors defined arch height based on an arch ratio; which they
calculated as the height of the arch divided by the length from the heel to 1st
metatarsophalangeal joint (high arch > 0.365, low arch < 0.275).  Plantar pressure measures during a barefoot
run were taken before and after a fatigue running task.  The running protocol involved walking with
increases in speed every 2 minutes until a 
Borg intensity of
13 was reached. They then continued to run at that speed until 80% maximum heart
rate or Borg intensity of 17 was reached. 
People with low arches experienced an increase in maximum pressure and
peak force under the first, second, and third metatarsals post fatigue. In
contrast, runners with high arches had an increase in maximum pressure and peak
force at the lateral heel and in the fourth and fifth metatarsal areas.  Both group had shorter initial contact time
and increased forefoot push off time post-fatigue.

These findings are interesting
because it shows that a fatigue running protocol affects novice runners with either
high or low arches.  All runners had
increases in forefoot push-off time, while the groups had different changes in
maximum pressure and peak force at different regions of the foot.  High and low arch individuals are susceptible
to different overuse running-related injuries. 
Hence, fatigue may exacerbate gait mechanics that further increases the risk
of injury.  It would be interesting to
see if certain exercises or running cues could mitigate the changes after a
running fatigue.  The participants in
this study all wore the same sneaker for the running protocol.  It would also be interesting to see if shoe
selection could affect the fatigue that occurred.  There has also been research regarding barefoot
or minimalist footwear training.  It
would be interesting to see if this type of running or training would have a
different effect on fatigue changes. 
Clinically, both groups were affected by a running protocol – but with
very different changes.  It is important
to treat each of these groups differently in regards to rehabilitative exercise
selection or preventative orthoses to try to prevent overuse injuries related
to their specific fatigue patterns and running.

for Discussion:  What has your experience
been with minimalist training?  What
types of exercises have you found to be successful for preventing fatigue
related injuries with running?

Nicole Cattano
by: Jeffrey Driban


Anbarian, M., & Esmaeili, H. (2016). Effects of running-induced fatigue on plantar pressure distribution in novice runners with different foot types Gait & Posture, 48, 52-56 DOI: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2016.04.029