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Title: Changes in segment coordination variability and the impacts of the lower limb across running mileages in half marathons : implications for running injuries
Authors: Chen, TLW 
Wong, DWC 
Wang, Y 
Tan, Q 
Lam, WK
Zhang, M 
Issue Date: Jan-2022
Source: Journal of sport and health science, Jan. 2022, v. 11, no. 1, p. 67-74
Abstract: Background: Segment coordination variability (CV) is a movement pattern associated with running-related injuries. It can also be adversely affected by a prolonged run. However, research on this topic is currently limited. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a prolonged run on segment CV and vertical loading rates during a treadmill half marathon.
Methods: Fifteen healthy runners ran a half marathon on an instrumental treadmill in a biomechanical laboratory. Synchronized kinematic and kinetic data were collected every 2 km (from 2 km until 20 km), and the data were processed by musculoskeletal modeling. Segment CVs were computed from the angle-angle plots of selected pelvis-thigh, thigh-shank, and shank-rearfoot couplings using a modified vector coding technique. The loading rate of vertical ground reaction force was also calculated. A one-way MANOVA with repeated measures was performed on each of the outcome variables to examine the main effect of running mileage.
Results: Significant effects of running mileage were found on segment CVs (p = 0.004–0.010) but not on loading rate (p = 0.881). Notably, during the early stance phase, the CV of pelvis frontal vs. thigh frontal was significantly increased at 20 km compared with the CV at 8 km (g = 0.59, p = 0.022). The CV of shank transverse vs. rearfoot frontal decreased from 2 km to 8 km (g = 0.30, p = 0.020) but then significantly increased at both 18 km (g = 0.05, p < 0.001) and 20 km (g = 0.36, p < 0.001).
Conclusion: At the early stance, runners maintained stable CVs on the sagittal plane, which could explain the unchanged loading rate throughout the half marathon. However, increased CVs on the frontal/transverse plane may be an early sign of fatigue and indicative of possible injury risk. Further studies are necessary for conclusive statements in this regard.
Keywords: Coupling angle
Endurance running
Motion capture analysis
Musculoskeletal modeling
Vector coding technique
Publisher: Elsevier
Journal: Journal of sport and health science 
ISSN: 2095-2546
DOI: 10.1016/j.jshs.2020.09.006
Rights: © 2020 Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Shanghai University of Sport. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license(
The following publication Chen, T. L.-W., Wong, D. W.-C., Wang, Y., Tan, Q., Lam, W.-K., & Zhang, M. (2022). Changes in segment coordination variability and the impacts of the lower limb across running mileages in half marathons: Implications for running injuries. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 11(1), 67-74 is available at
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