The men's steeplechase event requires participants to jump over thirty-five 0.914-meter-tall obstacles, 4 rigid barriers and 1 fixed barrier followed by a 3.66-meter-long water pit per lap, over a 3000-meter distance. This study investigated the effect of increasing running velocity, through a range of 5.33 m/s to 6.66 m/s, on takeoff and landing ground reaction forces, for males during steeplechase hurdling using a force plate embedded under a track surface. Subjects completed 1 trial within each of 6 different pace ranges in a random order, once with a hurdle following the force plate to measure the takeoff ground reaction forces and a second time with the hurdle prior to the force plate to measure the landing ground reaction forces. Within a repeated measures linear mixed model during takeoff, peak vertical force (r2 = 0.1968, p < 0.01) and horizontal propulsive impulse (r2 = 0.0287, p = 0.02) were positively correlated with increasing velocity, and ground time (r2 = 0.1904, p < 0.01) was negatively correlated with increasing velocity. Within a repeated measures linear mixed model during landing, vertical impact force loading rate (r2 = 0.0099, p < 0.01) was positively correlated with increasing velocity and ground time (r2 = 0.2889, p < 0.01), vertical impulse (r2 = 0.1704, p = 0.02), and horizontal braking impulse (r2 = 0.0004, p = 0.05) were negatively correlated with increasing velocity. As male steeplechasers prepared to hurdle at increasing speeds, they produced a greater peak vertical force on the takeoff step while decreasing the ground time during takeoff, and increasing the horizontal propulsive impulse to carry themselves beyond the hurdle. While landing from the hurdle at increasing speeds, the athlete decreased the amount of time spent on the landing stance and the vertical impulse, and increased the magnitude of horizontal braking impulse and vertical loading rate. The relationships of these variables: takeoff peak vertical force, takeoff ground time, takeoff horizontal impulse, landing ground time, and landing vertical loading rate to increasing velocity were all comparable to overground running responses. The data differed from running by not indicating any change in hurdling takeoff horizontal braking impulse; however, the horizontal braking impulse did increase on hurdling landing. It was expected to decrease on hurdling landing due to the foot landing more underneath the center of mass after hurdling compared to running. The decrease in landing vertical impulse as speed increased also differed from normal running steps. We suggest that further research include kinematic measures to better understand the relationship between these variables as hurdling velocity increases.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Exercise Sciences



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steeplechase, ground reaction force, hurdling, track