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From theory to practice: running kinematics of triathletes

Scarfe, Amy Clare (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Triathlon comprises of three disciplines: swimming, cycling and running. Of these, running performance has been found to be most strongly related to race success. Studies investigating the effect of long term multidisciplinary training on running technique are limited. This thesis set out to further explore these chronic adaptations and apply this theoretical understanding to investigate training modification in triathlon. Results of the first two experiments showed that long term kinematic adaptations to running, present in both male and female triathletes. This is most likely due to the volume of cycling undertaken and the subsequent effect it has on the hip musculature. Consequently, a hip flexibility programme was designed and implemented. However, despite improvements in static flexibility, this programme did not affect running technique. In a subsequent study, flexibility training combined with running technique drills also failed to bring about any modifications in running kinematics. Findings of a longitudinal case study demonstrated that, in addition to chronic and acute running technique adaptations, intermediate changes linked to varying training demands also exist showing the level of variability of the running technique. It is concluded that adaptations to cycling are the cause of differences in running technique between triathletes and runners and that these modifications are difficult to reverse. However, the additional intermediate variations observed demonstrate technique can be changed as a result of training requirements.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Li, Francois-Xavier and Gardner, Trevor
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
Subjects:RC1200 Sports Medicine
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1687
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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