Does the Preferred Walk-Run Transition Speed on Inclines Minimize Energetic Cost, Heart Rate or Neither? Journal Article uri icon



  • ABSTRACTHumans prefer to walk at slow speeds and to run at fast speeds. In between, there is a speed at which people choose to transition between gaits, the Preferred Transition Speed (PTS). At slow speeds, it is energetically cheaper to walk and at faster speeds, it is cheaper to run. Thus, there is an intermediate speed, the Energetically Optimal Transition Speed (EOTS). Our goals were to determine: 1) how PTS and EOTS compare across a wide range of inclines and 2) if the EOTS can be predicted by the heart rate optimal transition speed (HROTS). Ten healthy, high-caliber, male trail/mountain runners participated. On day 1, subjects completed 0° and 15° trials and on day 2, 5° and 10°. We calculated PTS as the average of the walk-to-run transition speed (WRTS) and the run-to-walk transition speed (RWTS) determined with an incremental protocol. We calculated EOTS and HROTS from energetic cost and heart rate data for walking and running near the expected EOTS for each incline. The intersection of the walking and running linear regression equations defined EOTS and HROTS. We found that PTS, EOTS, and HROTS all were slower on steeper inclines. PTS was slower than EOTS at 0°, 5°, and 10°, but the two converged at 15°. PTS and EOTS were only moderately correlated. Although EOTS correlated with HROTS, EOTS was not predicted accurately by heart rate on an individual basis.

publication date

  • July 12, 2020

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • November 5, 2020 5:11 AM

Full Author List

  • Brill JW; Kram R

author count

  • 2

Other Profiles