Research Topic

The Biomechanics of Competitive Gait: Sprinting, Hurdling, Distance Running and Race Walking

About this Research Topic

Running technique has been analyzed since antiquity, and yet the study of gait biomechanics is continually developing and unearthing new insights. This is undoubtedly linked to the great variety of skills required in the running and race walking events, despite their apparent simplicity: a fast but fair ...

Running technique has been analyzed since antiquity, and yet the study of gait biomechanics is continually developing and unearthing new insights. This is undoubtedly linked to the great variety of skills required in the running and race walking events, despite their apparent simplicity: a fast but fair sprint start, safe and effective hurdle clearances, negotiation of the tight bends in indoor racing, and coping with changes in gradient in road and cross country running are just a few examples. Increasingly, coaches and governing bodies are looking to sports science to help improve their best athletes and raise participation rates in recreational sport, and need a comprehensive resource on technique, performance and training. Regardless of their standard, competitive athletes strive to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury, and biomechanists are ideally placed to support athletes and coaches in this universal sport.

The overall aim of this Research Topic is to provide coaches, athletes and practitioners with a rich, deep and broad resource of scientifically robust biomechanical research that can be used to inform practice in competitive gait, regardless of standard, age, sex or ability. Coaches in particular can find it difficult to locate suitable resources to learn about the most up-to-date scientific advice that is relevant to their athletes. We welcome studies using novel methods in data collection and analysis (including GPS and foot pod technology) that can allow previously unexplored nuances of gait to be studied, as well as traditional methods such as videography that are crucial to analyzing world-class athletes in their natural competitive habitat. We also encourage research on other aspects of competition examined through the performance analysis lens, including strategies to deal with uncontrollable race conditions such as the wind and unstable surface conditions.

We aim to publish a wide collection of articles that include but are not limited to Original Research, Brief Research Reports, Reviews, Case Reports and Perspectives on themes encompassing the following:
• Biomechanical analysis of elite and non-elite athletes in competition
• Injury risk factors in competitive gait, their prevention and treatment
• Biomechanics of individual differences (e.g., youth and masters athletes, para-athletes)
• Training interventions, including strength and conditioning practices
• Effectiveness of laboratory- and field-based methods and technologies used to measure the biomechanics of competitive gait
• Studies of running gait in non-competitive environments that could inform better training or competitive practices


Keywords: Track Athletics, Endurance Exercise, Sport Performance, Sport Technology, Sprint Speed, Technique Analysis


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

01 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

01 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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