Running patterns for male and female competitive and recreational runners based on accelerometer data
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The purpose of this study was to classify runners in sex-specific groups as either competitive or recreational based on center of mass (CoM) accelerations. Forty-one runners participated in the study (25 male and 16 female), and were labeled as competitive or recreational based on age, sex, and race performance. Three-dimensional acceleration data were collected during a 5-minute treadmill run, and 24 features were extracted. Support vector machine classification models were used to examine the utility of the features in discriminating between competitive and recreational runners within each sex-specific subgroup. Competitive and recreational runners could be classified with 82.63 % and 80.4 % in the male and female models, respectively. Dominant features in both models were related to regularity and variability, with competitive runners exhibiting more consistent running gait patterns, but the specific features were slightly different in each sex-specific model. Therefore, it is important to separate runners into sex-specific competitive and recreational subgroups for future running biomechanical studies. In conclusion, we have demonstrated the ability to analyze running biomechanics in competitive and recreational runners using only CoM acceleration patterns. A runner, clinician, or coach may use this information to monitor how running patterns change as a result of training.
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