Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health and Human Performance


Exercise Science (MS)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Matthew Kilgas


It is known that running economy is a determinant of running performance. Increased step rate has been correlated with improved running economy, but it is unknown whether these improvements can be maintained with chronic training. The purpose of this study was to determine if a step rate training intervention improves running economy and improves lower body kinetic factors in distance runners. Nine participants were randomly assigned to either an intervention group (n = 7) undergoing a 6-week supplemental training program, or a non-training control group (n = 2). The intervention group trained three times a week, running at a higher percentage, 2-8% of their preferred step rate at their individual submaximal pace. VO2peak, running economy, 5km performance time, peak vertical GRF (Fz), peak braking force (Fy), and loading rates (vertical impact peak, vertical average loading rate, and vertical instantaneous load rate) were measured before and after training. The intervention and the control group resulted in no significant change (p > 0.05) in any variables. There was a positive trend with the intervention group with VO2peak (p = 0.056). This aligns with previous research indicating that step rate manipulation may not significantly impact on running economy; however, no significant change in loading rates contradicted previous research findings. The implications of the findings suggest that step rate training intervention may not lead to significant improvements in running economy or lower limb kinetic factors in distance runners.

Access Type

Open Access