Incidence of training-related injuries among marathon runners

Br J Sports Med. 1983 Sep;17(3):162-5. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.17.3.162.


A questionnaire was sent to all 960 entrants in a major city marathon race to obtain information on training-related injuries. A total of 497 replies were received; of these 287 (58%) had incurred some form of injury during preparation for the race. Seventy-one of these individuals reported more than one injury. Almost all injuries affected the lower limb, with 113 cases (32%) involving pain or disability in the knee. More than half the injured runners (158, 55%) sought no professional advice; approximately half (146, 51%) received no treatment other than rest, which was not generally considered a form of therapy. Only 18 runners (6%) reported no improvement in their condition, while 143 individuals (51%) reported a full recovery. Injury incurred during training was thought by 98 runners (35%) to have had an adverse effect on their racing performance. These results suggest that runners preparing to compete in marathon races can expect their training to be interrupted by injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Running*
  • United Kingdom