Effect of Stride Length Alterations on Heart Rate and Ratings of Perceived Exertion During Treadmill Running
Yakhnis, Marina A.
Gooden, Tara J.
Strong, Michael A.
Alimohd, Anil A.
Anderson, Matthew S.
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This study describes results of exercise physiology research intended to examine the effects of running at normal, less than normal, and greater than normal stride length on heart rate (HR) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE). The objective of this study was to determine how running above or below the natural stride length influences HR and RPE, and we hypothesized that any aberrations to normal stride patterns would result in increases in both HR and RPE. Three males and three females of moderate fitness were asked to run on a treadmill for three 10-minute periods, each separated by 10 minutes of recovery. The first trial allowed volunteers to select their own stride, while the remaining runs were conducted with a metronome set at either 15% above or 15% below their normal gait. A significant increase was found in HR at both above- or below-normal stride length. RPE was increased during the below-normal stride length trial compared to other trials. We concluded that altering the normal stride length results in increased cardiac exertion and further studies into the negative physiological consequences of this are warranted.
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