Fuel oxidation at the walk-to-run-transition in humans

Kathleen J. Ganley, Anthony Stock, Richard M. Herman, Marco Santello, Wayne T. Willis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Multiple factors (including anthropometric, kinetic, mechanical, kinematic, perceptual, and energetic factors) are likely to play a role in the walk-to-run transition in humans. The primary purpose of the present study was to consider an additional factor, the metabolic fuel source. Indirect calorimetry was used to measure fuel oxidation, and perception of effort was recorded as 10 overnight-fasted adults locomoted on a level treadmill at speeds progressing from 1.56 to 2.46 m s-1 in increments of 0.11 m s-1 and 10.0 minutes under 3 conditions: (1) unconstrained choice of gait, (2) walking at all speeds, and (3) running at all speeds. The preferred transition speed was 2.08 ± 0.03 m s-1. Gait transition from walking to running increased oxygen consumption rate, decreased the perception of effort, and decreased the rate of carbohydrate oxidation. We propose that, in an evolutionary context, gait transition, guided by the perception of effort, can be viewed as a carbohydrate-sparing strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-616
Number of pages8
JournalMetabolism: Clinical and Experimental
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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