Kinematic characteristics of elite men’s 50 km race walking

Hanley, Brian, Bissas, Athanassios ORCID: 0000-0002-7858-9623 and Drake, Andrew (2013) Kinematic characteristics of elite men’s 50 km race walking. European Journal of Sport Science, 13 (3). pp. 272-279. doi:10.1080/17461391.2011.630104

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Race walking is an endurance event which also requires great technical ability, particularly with respect to its two distinguishing rules. The 50 km race walk is the longest event in the athletics programme at the Olympic Games. The aims of this observational study were to identify the important kinematic variables in elite men's 50 km race walking, and to measure variation in those variables at different distances. Thirty men were analysed from video data recorded during a World Race Walking Cup competition. Video data were also recorded at four distances during the European Cup Race Walking and 12 men analysed from these data. Two camcorders (50 Hz) recorded at each race for 3D analysis. The results of this study showed that walking speed was associated with both step length (r=0.54,P=0.002) and cadence (r=0.58,P=0.001). While placing the foot further ahead of the body at heel strike was associated with greater step lengths (r=0.45,P=0.013), it was also negatively associated with cadence (r= −0.62,P<0.001). In the World Cup, knee angles ranged between 175 and 186° at initial contact and between 180 and 195° at midstance. During the European Cup, walking speed decreased significantly (F=9.35,P=0.002), mostly due to a decrease in step length between 38.5 and 48.5 km (t=8.59,P=0.014). From this study, it would appear that the key areas a 50 km race walker must develop and coordinate are step length and cadence, although it is also important to ensure legal walking technique is maintained with the onset of fatigue.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Athletics; Gait; Motion analysis; Walking stride
Related URLs:
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports > GV0711 Coaching
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports > GV1060 Track and field athletics
Q Science > QP Physiology > QP301.H75 Physiology. Sport
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Athanassios Bissas
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2020 10:16
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:10

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