Prognosis and prognostic factors of running-related injuries in novice runners: A prospective cohort study

J Sci Med Sport. 2019 Mar;22(3):259-263. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2018.09.001. Epub 2018 Sep 7.


Objectives: To investigate the prognosis and possible prognostic factors of running-related injuries (RRIs) in novice runners.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Methods: Participants of Start to Run, a 6-weeks course for novice runners in The Netherlands, were asked to participate in this study. Before the start of the course a baseline questionnaire, on demographics, physical activity and perceived health, was sent to runners willing to participate. The 26- or 52-weeks follow-up questionnaires assessed information on RRIs and their duration. Only participants that sustained a RRI during follow-up were included in the analyses. An injury duration of 10weeks or shorter was regarded as a relatively good prognosis, while an injury duration of more than 10weeks was defined as a poor prognosis. To determine the associations between baseline characteristics and injury prognosis and between injury location and injury prognosis, multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed.

Results: 347 participants (48.8%) sustained an RRI during follow-up. The RRIs had an overall median duration of eight weeks (range: 1-52weeks). Participants with a previous RRI were more likely to have a poor prognosis (OR 2.31; 95%CI 1.12-4.79), while a calf injury showed a trend towards an association with a relatively good prognosis (OR 0.49; 95%CI 0.22-1.11).

Conclusions: The duration of RRIs in novice runners is relatively long, with only calf injuries being associated with a good prognosis. This emphasizes the need of injury prevention measures in novice runners and adequate support during and after an RRI, especially in runners with a previous injury.

Keywords: Novice running program; Prognostic factors; Recreational running; Sports injuries; Start to run.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg Injuries / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Running / injuries*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires