No effect of a graded training program on the number of running-related injuries in novice runners: a randomized controlled trial

Am J Sports Med. 2008 Jan;36(1):33-9. doi: 10.1177/0363546507307505. Epub 2007 Oct 16.


Background: Although running has positive effects on health and fitness, the incidence of a running-related injury (RRI) is high. Research on prevention of RRI is scarce; to date, no studies have involved novice runners.

Hypothesis: A graded training program for novice runners will lead to a decrease in the absolute number of RRIs compared with a standard training program.

Study design: Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 1.

Methods: GRONORUN (Groningen Novice Running) is a 2-armed randomized controlled trial comparing a standard 8-week training program (control group) and an adapted, graded, 13-week training program (intervention group), on the risk of sustaining an RRI. Participants were novice runners (N = 532) preparing for a recreational 4-mile (6.7-km) running event. The graded 13-week training program was based on the 10% training rule. Both groups registered information on running characteristics and RRI using an Internet-based running log. The primary outcome measure was RRIs per 100 participants. An RRI was defined as any musculoskeletal complaint of the lower extremity or back causing a restriction of running for at least 1 week.

Results: The graded training program was not preventive for sustaining an RRI (chi(2) = 0.016, df = 1, P = .90). The incidence of RRI was 20.8% in the graded training program group and 20.3% in the standard training program group.

Conclusions: This randomized controlled trial showed no effect of a graded training program (13 weeks) in novice runners, applying the 10% rule, on the incidence of RRI compared with a standard 8-week training program.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Dropouts
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*
  • Running / education
  • Running / injuries*