Purpose. This study investigated the relationship between subjective effort (SE) and kinematics/kinetics throughout an entire 50 m sprint. Methods. Fifteen male sprinters performed the 50 m sprint at 3 different levels of SE (100 %SE; maximal-effort, 90 %SE and 80 %SE, sub-maximal efforts). Kinematic and kinetic data were obtained with a digital high speed camera and 50 ground reaction force (GRF) plates placed every 1 m in the running lane. Variables recorded were sprint time, running speed, step frequency, step length, aerial time, contact time, GRF, and ground reaction impulse (GRI). Results & Discussion. Sprint times decreased with increases in SE. However, some subjects ran their fastest 50m at a sub-maximal SE. Thus, the optimal combination of step length & frequency necessary for obtaining maximum speed does not necessarily occur at maximal SE. Indeed, while step frequency significantly increased with an increase in SE, step length was usually the longest at a sub-maximal SE. The vertical GRI in the first half of the ground contact period was significantly greater at sub-maximal SEs. Vertical GRIs and horizontal GRIs in the second half of the ground contact period did not significantly differ among different SEs. Our results suggest that those runners who increase SF too much at maximal SE do so at the cost of decreasing step length (SL). Thus, applying a large force against the ground in the first half of the ground contact period would be effective for improving step length.
ASJC Scopus subject areas