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Trial from ANZCTR

In a cohort of healthy runners, does a biomechanically informed neuromuscular training program, do better than a generic strength training program, in improving self-determined load carriage running velocity and biomechanics, lower limb strength and power?

  • Recruitment status at the time of last update
  • What is the status of the ethics application?
    Ethics status: Approved
  • Prospective – trial registered prior to recruitment of first participant.

    Retrospective – trial registered after recruitment of first participant.
    Retrospectively registered
  • Has the trial been updated in the last 12 months?
    Up to date
    (Last updated: 3/3/2017)
  • Ethics status: Approved
    What is the status of the ethics application?
  • Up to date
    Has the trial been updated in the last 6 months?
Key trial Information

Trial ID


Date registered

14 January 2016

Health condition

Running biomechanics, Lower limb strength and power

Recruitment countries


Recruitment site location(s) (State)

Western Australia

Recruitment status


Anticipated date of first participant enrolment

18 January 2016

Ethics application status


Brief summary

Background: Ultra-endurance and adventure racing are increasingly becoming popular with recreational and elite athletes. These athletes routinely carry some form of external loads, to transport various equipment for survival, navigation and sustenance. It has been well reported that load carriage impairs gait performance, with subsequent training studies conducted to identify if gait performance improved. However, most of these training studies were not of a randomized, controlled trials design, and they were largely conducted within the military setting. More importantly, exercise selections within current studies have not been based on known neuromuscular demands involved in load carriage gait patterns. Previous studies on load carriage in running have identified potential adaptive and mal-adaptive biomechanical alterations when load is imposed on running. Adaptive mechanical alterations are changes whose functions are to needed to sustain running speed, enhance postural control, support an increased weight and absorb shock. Mal-adaptive alterations are changes which could heighten the risk of incurring injuries, and reduce gait performance. It is hypothesized that a neuromuscular training that is targeted to known neuromuscular demands of load carriage running would compare better than a generic strength training program in improving load carriage running mechanics.
Methods: This study will be a two-arm, parallel randomized controlled trial with single assessor blinding. 30 healthy runners, aged 18 to 60 years, will be enrolled. The total duration of this study is 8 weeks, broken up into two phases. In the first phase, participants will undergo a common two weeks familiarization training sessions. They will undergo a pre and post biomechanics and strength testing assessment. A permuted block randomization procedure will be used as participants will be stratified based on gender (male/female). Allocation will be concealed using sealed-opaque envelopes. After baseline assessments, participants will be randomized into either a targeted or a general neuromuscular training program. Both programs will involve three supervised sessions per week for six weeks. A mid assessment will be conducted during the 3rd week with regards to maximal jumps and hops.
Statistical analysis: Baseline demographic variables will be compared using parametric and non-parametric tests, where appropriate. Descriptive statistics (mean and standard deviation) will be calculated. A linear mixed model will be used to identify between group and within group by time changes in discrete dependent variables. Statistical Parametric Mapping will be used to identify between and within group by time changes in time-continuous dependent variables. Statistical inference will be made at a family wise error rate of a = 0.05.


Key inclusion criteria

Participants between 18 and 60 years old who are in good general health, and are currently running or participating in running-related sports with an accumulated total distance of 45 minutes/week, will be recruited.

Minimum age

18 Years

Maximum age

60 Years


Both males and females

Key exclusion criteria

1. Presence of any disorders that could affect their gait and load carrying ability.
2. Medical conditions that preclude heavy resistance training and strenuous running.
3. Presence of a training-loss running related injury within the last 3 months.
4. Current running related pain (except blisters or muscle soreness)}
5. Lower limb surgery within the past 12 months.
6. Females who are pregnant.

Contact details and further information

Primary Sponsor

Type: Individual
Name: A/Prof Kevin Netto
Address: Curtin University, Kent Street, Bentley, WA 6102
Country: Australia

Contact person for information and recruitment

A/Prof Kevin Netto
School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Sciences, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845
+618 9266 3689