Background Webpages, blogs and various magazines continuously publish “Start to Run” training programs with the purpose of guiding novice runners towards increased running performance and minimizing the risk of sustaining a running-related injury. However, to prescribe correct training guidelines, an understanding of the different training variables' effect on injury development is crucial.
Objective The objective of the RUN-SAFE: Run Clever Study is to investigate the relationship between the emphasis in the training and the development of running-related injuries (RRI).
Hypothesis Using a start to run program with a particular focus on distance is assumed to increase the risk of: patellofemoral pain syndrome, iliotibial band friction syndrome and patellar tendinopathy. While an emphasis on pace rather than distance is hypothesized to increase the risk of: Achilles tendinopathy, gastrocnemius injuries and plantar fasciitis.
Design Randomized controlled trial with 6-months follow-up including 200 healthy novice runners.
Risk factor assessment Participants are randomized into one of the following four start to run programs: 1) high intensity/low volume, 2) low intensity/Hhgh volume, 3) high intensity/high volume, 4 ) low intensity/low volume. Training data is gathered using GPS based watches or mobile phones during each training session and uploaded to a web-based training diary (http://www.runsafe.dk).
Outcome The outcome of interest is RRI. An RRI is defined as any running-related musculoskeletal ailment of the lower extremity or back, causing a restriction of running for at least one week. If a participant is injured, an appointment for clinical examination is made through the online training diary.
Perspectives Currently the evidence-based knowledge on the relation between training variables and injury development is very limited. Hopefully, the present study provides useful guidelines for all people engaged in running, particularly regarding how to minimize injury risk by modifying training variables.
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