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Running with injury: A study of UK novice and recreational runners and factors associated with running related injury

      Abstract

      Objectives

      To investigate the incidence and type of running related injuries in novice and recreational UK runners, and identify factors associated with injury.

      Design

      Retrospective cross-sectional study.

      Methods

      Novice and recreational runners were recruited through UK parkrun to complete a web-based survey. 1145 respondents reported information on demographics, personal characteristics, and running training characteristics (training goal, novice runners’ training plans, frequency of running, running experience, running terrain). Current and previous injuries were self-reported and questions from the Oslo Sports Trauma Centre Questionnaire for overuse injury were completed. Chi-squared tests and binomial logistic regression were performed.

      Results

      570 runners had a current injury and 86% were continuing to run despite their injury causing pain, directly affecting their performance and causing a reduction of running volume. In the first year of running, runners using a self-devised training programme were more likely to be injured compared with using a structured programme such as Couch to 5 K. Running experience of over 2 years was protective (OR 0.578–0.65). Males were 1.45 times more likely to be injured. Other factors associated with current injury were wearing orthotics (OR 1.88), and lack of previous injuries in the past 12 months (OR 1.44).

      Conclusions

      More experienced runners have a lower rate of injury. A novice runner should use a recognised structured training programme. These results suggest that graduated loading is important for novice runners, and that load modification may be important whilst recovering from an injury, however full recovery from previous injury may prevent future injury.

      Keywords

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