Control of impact loading during distracted running before and after gait retraining in runners
Gait retraining using visual biofeedback has been reported to reduce impact loading in runners. However, most of the previous studies did not adequately examine the level of motor learning after training, as the modified gait pattern was not tested in a dual-task condition. Hence, this study sought to compare the landing peak positive acceleration (PPA) and vertical loading rates during distracted running before and after gait retraining. Sixteen recreational runners underwent a two-week visual biofeedback gait retraining program for impact loading reduction, with feedback on the PPA measured at heel. In the evaluation of PPA and vertical loading rates before and after the retraining, the participants performed a cognitive and verbal counting task while running. Repeated measures ANOVA indicated a significant interaction between feedback and training on PPA (F = 4.642; P = 0.048) but not vertical loading rates (F > 1.953; P > 0.067). Pairwise comparisons indicated a significantly lower PPA and vertical loading rates after gait retraining (P < 0.007; Cohen’s d > 0.68). Visual feedback after gait retraining reduced PPA and vertical loading rates during distracted running (P < 0.033; Cohen’s d > 0.36). Gait retraining is effective in lowering impact loading even when the runners are distracted. In dual-task situation, visual biofeedback provided beneficial influence on kinetics control after gait retraining.
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