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Achilles tendon: running barefoot vs running shod?

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  #1  
Old 4th February 2010, 11:48 AM
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Default Achilles tendon: running barefoot vs running shod?

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A post from the fat lad got me thinking http://www.podiatry-arena.com/podiat...&postcount=12: Alexander's work points to the Achilles tendon acting as a spring during running gait- storing and returning elastic energy. Given that when running barefoot, a forefoot strike pattern may be more common and while running in shoes a rearfoot strike pattern appears to be more common, what influence does the strike pattern have on the ability of the achilles to store and return elastic energy?
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Old 4th February 2010, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Achilles tendon: running barefoot vs running shod?

I would assume that forefoot strike would place more load on the achilles and therefore more energy returned, but there could be a chance that the elastic deformation could become plastic ( if I remember correctly and then something about creep).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFtw8G5nSI4
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Old 4th February 2010, 01:14 PM
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Default Re: Achilles tendon: running barefoot vs running shod?

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Originally Posted by m weber View Post
I would assume that forefoot strike would place more load on the achilles and therefore more energy returned, but there could be a chance that the elastic deformation could become plastic ( if I remember correctly and then something about creep).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFtw8G5nSI4
So, faster loading = stiffer tendon. Does stiffer achilles tendon in a forefoot striker = greater "braking power" to STJ pronation?
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Old 4th February 2010, 01:17 PM
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Default Re: Achilles tendon: running barefoot vs running shod?

Im guesing so from Craig post in my achilles thread, he said

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I got data we will publish on day, that supination resistance goes down by about 12% with a 1cm heel raise ---> that hypothetically means soleus does not need to work as hard to provide a supination moment --> less load in achilles.
so I´m thinking that the same must occur with FF striking
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Old 4th May 2013, 06:22 AM
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Default Re: Achilles tendon: running barefoot vs running shod?

The Effect of Foot Strike Pattern on Achilles Tendon Load During Running.
Almonroeder T, Willson JD, Kernozek TW.
Ann Biomed Eng. 2013 May 3.
Quote:
In this study we compared Achilles tendon loading parameters during barefoot running among females with different foot strike patterns using open-source computer muscle modeling software to provide dynamic simulations of running. Muscle forces of the gastrocnemius and soleus were estimated from experimental data collected in a motion capture laboratory during barefoot running for 11 runners utilizing a rearfoot strike (RFS) and 8 runners utilizing a non-RFS (NRFS) pattern. Our results show that peak Achilles tendon force occurred earlier in stance phase (p = 0.007), which contributed to a 15% increase in average Achilles tendon loading rate among participants adopting a NRFS pattern (p = 0.06). Stance time, step length, and the estimated number of steps per mile were similar between groups. However, runners with a NRFS pattern experienced 11% greater Achilles tendon impulse each step (p = 0.05) and nearly significantly greater Achilles tendon impulse per mile run (p = 0.06). This difference equates to an additional 47.7 body weights for each mile run with a NRFS pattern. Runners considering a NRFS pattern may want to account for these novel stressors and adapt training programs accordingly.
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Old 4th May 2013, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Achilles tendon: running barefoot vs running shod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Spooner View Post
what influence does the strike pattern have on the ability of the Achilles to store and return elastic energy?.
Nothing, if the tendon is overly stiff (vast majority of the population).

Your talking as if everybody has compliant tendons, far, far from it.
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Old 6th May 2013, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: Achilles tendon: running barefoot vs running shod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Spooner View Post
So, faster loading = stiffer tendon. Does stiffer achilles tendon in a forefoot striker = greater "braking power" to STJ pronation?
With forefoot striking the center of pressure of ground reaction force will tend to be more lateral to the STJ axis than with rearfoot striking. So, there is a competition from the direct supination moment from the tendon versus the pronation moment from the ground. So, you might not get any "breaking power" about the STJ in terms of supination moment from the Achilles tendon.

Eric
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Old 6th May 2013, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: Achilles tendon: running barefoot vs running shod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike weber View Post
Im guesing so from Craig post in my achilles thread, he said
Quote:
I got data we will publish on day, that supination resistance goes down by about 12% with a 1cm heel raise ---> that hypothetically means soleus does not need to work as hard to provide a supination moment --> less load in achilles.
so I´m thinking that the same must occur with FF striking
The heel lift might mess with balance. That is when you stand on the lift you might choose to lean forward or backward more as compared to without the lift. (This is a choice.) If you chose to lean back, moving the center of pressure more proximaly, you would decrease the pronation moment from the ground and this might be the cause of change in supination resistance.

The moment at the STJ from the Achilles is just a by product of the moment created at the ankle. The Achilles is first an ankle plantar flexor. I could see how it would be adaptive to also provide some supination moment with the average stj axis extending from the heel out to, roughly, the first met head. As ankle plantar flexion shifts the center of pressure anteriorly the angulation of the STj axis will make the Achilles an indirect pronator.

Eric
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Old 13th May 2013, 08:13 PM
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Default Re: Achilles tendon: running barefoot vs running shod?

The Relationship Between Achilles Tendon Moment Arm and Running Economy in Rearfoot and Forefoot Runners
Allison H. Gruber, Brian R. Umberger, Ross H. Miller, Joseph Hamill
Presented at 2013 ACSM Mtg
Quote:
Running economy is based on several biomechanical and morphological characteristics. Scholz et al. (2008) found that a shorter Achilles tendon moment arm (ATMA) is related to greater running economy. A shorter ATMA may improve running economy by increasing the muscle force required to produce a given joint moment, thus increasing elastic energy utilization. However, that study only included natural rearfoot (RF) runners. Natural forefoot (FF) runners may differ morphologically leading to a preference for the FF pattern. It is unclear what effects potential morphological differences between RF and FF runners and kinematic differences between the RF and FF patterns may have on the relationship between rate of oxygen consumption (VO2) and ATMA length.

PURPOSE: To compare the relationships between ATMA length and VO2 in natural RF and FF runners.

METHODS : Fourteen natural RF and eight natural FF runners ran on a treadmill at 4.0 m/s using the RF and FF patterns for 5 min each while VO2 was measured. Standing ATMA was measured as the horizontal distance between the lateral malleolus and posterior aspect of the Achilles tendon. Correlation coefficients (r) were calculated to determine the relationships between ATMA length and VO2 for each group and footfall pattern.

RESULTS: There was no difference in standing ATMA length between groups (RF group = 4.72 ± 0.65 cm; FF group = 4.53 ± 0.26 cm). In agreement with Scholz et al. (2008), shorter ATMA was correlated with lower VO2 in the natural RF runners, regardless of the footfall pattern (r = 0.21, 0.14 for RF, FF running). However, for the natural FF runners, longer ATMA correlated with lower VO2 regardless of the footfall pattern (r = -0.63, -0.55 for RF, FF running).

CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest natural RF and FF runners may run with different muscle mechanics despite similar ATMA lengths. More economical natural FF runners may run with decreased plantar flexor force required to produce a given joint moment whereas more economical natural RF runners may run with increased plantar flexor force but optimal muscle shortening velocities. Therefore, muscle force rather than muscle work may dictate running economy in natural FF runners. A smaller correlation between ATMA and VO2 with FF running compared to RF running may be a result of greater plantar flexor force required with the FF pattern.
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