Downhill running, DOMS, and eccentric training

Downhill running, DOMS, and eccentric training

Here we’ll discuss the significance of eccentric contractions during downhill running and its contribution to DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). We will also look at the effectiveness of eccentric training as part of a strength or rehabilitation training program. Most of you will be familiar with the paradoxical muscle soreness resulted from running downhill felt a few days following a training session. During a descent, the body’s running biomechanics significantly changes to facilitate a new landing pattern which acts to counteract downhill acceleration. In doing so, the quadriceps muscles in particular undergo a greater degree of eccentric muscle contraction which aids in neutralising the accelerative force component. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); What is an eccentric contraction? Although ‘contraction’ would suggest something shortening, in muscle physiology it describes the production of tension. Tension in a muscle can be produced under 3 scenarios: Muscle shortening = concentric muscle contraction Muscle lengthening = eccentric muscle contraction Muscle remaining same length =...
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Morphological and biomechanical traits of world class distance runners

Morphological and biomechanical traits of world class distance runners

According to the author of 'The Sports Gene', David Epstein, if you were to measure every runner's ankles at the start of a long distance race, you could statistically predict the likely winner. Winners of any major long distance race tend to possess particular body features. Let's run through some of these physical attributes that are distinctive in top East African runners and appear to give them the edge. Long tendon, short muscle combination Sano et al. (2012) investigated the lower leg morphology and behavior of 10 world class Kenyan distance runners and found that the group of athletes possessed a musculo-tendon morphology that is "optimized to favour efficient storage and recoil of elastic energy". This is facilitated by a significantly long achilles tendon and a short  gastrocnemius calf muscle. As a result, there is a high shortening to stretch ratio of the achilles/gastrocnemius. Meaning that a high degree of kinetic energy is stored upon lengthening, minimal ground contact time reduces dissipated...
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