Physical Therapy

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Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation

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As recreational running continues to gain popularity, more individuals are seeking ways to improve running performance. RunSmart is a running intervention program designed to enhance a runner’s form. In addition to correcting flaws in a runner’s form, RunSmart offers the opportunity for runners to continue a regular regimen while slowly integrating changes in form. The purpose of this case series was twofold: to determine if the RunSmart program coincides with improvements in oxygen consumption (VO2), a variable often associated with better running performance times, and to evaluate the RunSmart program in regard to enhancing gait biomechanics. Five recreational runners volunteered to participate in this program. Subjects initially reported to the clinic for an initial submaximal VO2 treadmill test and lower extremity biomechanical analysis. After the initial testing session, each subject attended one session of one-on-one individualized RunSmart instruction per week for 6 weeks. At the first RunSmart session, subjects received a biomechanical analysis to determine their foot strike pattern and areas of muscular weakness and range of motion limitations. Throughout the 6-week run-ning program, participants ran 5 days every week for predetermined times each day; 2 runs every week were designated as interval training runs. Subjects then underwent a follow-up submaximal VO2 treadmill test and lower extremity biomechanical analysis at the end of 6 weeks. Descriptive statistics were used to assess data pertaining to VO2 and biomechanical analysis and compare initial and follow-up testing sessions. Following completion of the RunSmart program, subjects demonstrated improvements in VO2 and also improved several biomechanical factors related to the lower extremity running gait. Based on the results from this case series, the RunSmart training program may have the potential to change a runner’s form and improve VO2, thus resulting in improved distance running times. However, this is speculation given the nonexperimental nature of this case series. Future research on this topic should include a greater number of participants in randomized controlled trials on injury prevention and running efficiency.


running, oxygen consumption, biomechanics




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