APPLICATION TO RUNNING
Most of traditional performance analysis of endurance and been done in the laboratory setting. There are differences in kinematics between treadmill and over ground running may affect the accuracy of analysis (Fellin, Manal & Davis, 2010). Field testing made possible with the advent of technology such as accelerometers would be more realistic and natural to the athlete; enabling coaches improve analysis of performance.
Parameters like pace, stride length and speed maybe monitored closely during training to endure that are progressing as planned. Overtraining, a syndrome commonly suffered by endurance athletes, may be more accurately detected because performance would be easily tracked with the use of accelerometers
Race profiles may also be captured. Traditionally, coaches are unable to monitor pace, speed and other parameters during a race. With the use of accelerometers, coaches are able to profile the runner’s entire race. Data on exactly when and where speed or pace is quickened or slowed down may modify training to enhance performance. Athletes may also be able to monitor their progress during a race with real time feed back. This would enable them to increase or decrease their speed accordingly as they would be able to predict their finishing time.(see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FfmFVkUVpg)
The next benefit is that energy expenditure can be more accurately estimated with accelerometers as found by Chen and Sun (1997). This would affect the ability to prescribe nutrition precisely. Nutrition is an important component of endurance sports. Over nutrition would affect body mass and adversely, while under nourishment would also affect athlete’s performance. Nutrition can also be administered that precisely the right moment. For instance, if a marathon runner consistently reduces power output only after a certain mileage during training, supplies can be made available exactly when needed.
The use of accelerometers has certainly improved the training of endurance runners. In present times, accelerometers are not often used in isolation. Other technologies such as heart rate monitoring are often used in combination with accelerometers that provide a greater ability for analysis of athletes.