Technological advances in track spike design facilitate enhanced running performance

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University of New Brunswick


The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential impact that super spikes have on step measures and running speed. Here, we aimed to evaluate middle distance spikes using a novel effort-based approach; rather than at maximum effort, 12 collegiate track runners were instructed to run 200m repeats at self-perceived mile race pace, in different spikes while we recorded their interval times and lower limb running biomechanics using inertial measurement units (IMUs). For each trial, we calculated average speed, average step frequency, average step length, and estimates of contact time, flight time, and peak ground reaction forces (Day et al., 2021). Running in the super spikes resulted in faster interval times, greater running velocities, and longer step lengths when compared to the traditionally constructed track spike. Our data suggests that with the use of super spikes, experienced track athletes could run faster across various distance track events.