Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Engineering (M.S.E.)

Degree Program

School of Engineering

First Advisor

Brent Nowak

Second Advisor

Gordon Alderink

Third Advisor

Blake Ashby

Fourth Advisor

Dave Zeitler

Academic Year



Running is a popular activity for those trying to get in shape, stay fit, and improve overall health. As running has increased in popularity over the past couple of decades, so has the number of running related injuries. (Higginson, 2009; Statistics and Research, 2016). Interest in running gait research has also increased to address and understand the running related injuries. In addition to reducing injuries, the search for an optimal running form that will improve efficiency is being pursued (Davis, 2005). Good Form Running has become an increasingly popular school of running that seeks to fulfill these needs, but its effects on the body have yet to be studied in totality. The objective of this pilot study was to contribute to the field of running biomechanics by conducting a quantitative comparison between common form running and Good Form Running. This work focused on sagittal plane lower extremity kinematics and ground reaction forces. This research employs both empirical and computational methods beginning with ground reaction force data and motion capture data of runners and is the initial effort to examine the difference between common form running and Good Form Running.

Data was collected on 12 healthy common form runners at a self-selected training pace before gait retraining, after gait retraining, and one month after gait retraining using Vicon 3D motion capture and AMTI in-ground force plates. After processing all of the participant data and calculating critical variables, statistical analysis was executed using repeated measures ANOVA and multivariate analysis. Statistical analysis revealed significant differences in loading rate, minimum horizontal ground reaction force, knee angle at contact, and ankle angle at contact. Between the first and last data collection, the mean loading rate decreased by 50.3%, mean minimum horizontal ground reaction force decreased by 21.6%, mean knee flexion increased by 29.5%, and the ankle went from dorsiflexed to plantar flexed at initial contact. A large decrease in loading rate has been associated with a reduction in risk for injury and may indicate the benefits of switching to Good Form Running (Hreljac, Marshall, & Hume, 2000; Novacheck, 1998; van Gent, et al., 2012).

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Engineering Commons