Estimating Knee Movement Patterns of Recreational Runners Across Training Sessions Using Multilevel Functional Regression Models

Modern wearable monitors and laboratory equipment allow the recording of high-frequency data that can be used to quantify human movement. However, currently, data analysis approaches in these domains remain limited. This paper proposes a new framework to analyze biomechanical patterns in sport training data recorded across multiple training sessions using multilevel functional models. We apply the methods to subsecond-level data of knee location trajectories collected in 19 recreational runners during a medium-intensity continuous run (MICR) and a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session, with multiple steps recorded in each participant-session. We estimate functional intra-class correlation coefficient to evaluate the reliability of recorded measurements across multiple sessions of the same training type. Furthermore, we obtained a vectorial representation of the three hierarchical levels of the data and visualize them in a low-dimensional space. Finally, we quantified the differences between genders and between two training types using functional multilevel regression models that incorporate covariate information. We provide an overview of the relevant methods and make both data and the R code for all analyses freely available online on GitHub. Thus, this work can serve as a helpful reference for practitioners and guide for a broader audience of researchers interested in modeling repeated functional measures at different resolution levels in the context of biomechanics and sports science applications.

keywords: wereable technology, multilevel data, functional data analysis,