Fatigue alters rearfoot kinematics on an individual basis and may offer a means of functionally grouping runners. This proof of concept study aimed to determine whether fatigue related changes in rearfoot eversion could be used to functionally group runners. Sixteen male recreational runners had their frontal plane rearfoot kinematics recorded by a three-dimensional motion capture system before and after a 5km run. The magnitude of change in frontal plane rearfoot kinematics pre- to post-fatigue was calculated and K-means clustering used to identify functional groups based upon these changes. T tests with statistical parametric mapping were used to compare fatigue related changes both within and between clusters. Two clusters or functional groups were evident within the data set. Nine participants were allocated to cluster 1 and displayed small and insignificant changes in frontal plane rearfoot motion post fatigue. In contrast, the remaining seven participants were assigned to cluster 2 and displayed significant increases in rearfoot eversion between 3 and 84% of the stance phase post fatigue. These findings prove the concept that fatigue related changes in rearfoot eversion can be used to functionally group participants. Additionally, the differing fatigue related changes reported by each group may alter the injury risk, training and footwear needs of each group.
- habitual movement pathway
- cluster analysis
- Statistical parametric mapping