Objective: To determine the incidence and to identify gender-specific predictors of Running-Related Injury (RRI) among a group of recreational runners training for a four-mile running event.
Design: Prospective cohort study.
Methods: Several potential risk factors were prospectively measured in 629 novice and recreational runners. They were observed during an eight-week training period for any running-related musculoskeletal injuries of the lower limbs and back. A running-related injury was defined as any musculoskeletal pain of the lower limb or back causing a restriction of running for at least one day.
Results: At least one RRI was reported by 25.9% of the runners during the eight-week observation period. The incidence of RRI was 30.1 (95% confidence interval (CI) 25.4–34.7) per 1,000 hours of running exposure. Multivariate Cox regression showed that male participants were more prone to sustain a running-related injury than female participants (HR 1.4; 95% CI 1.0–2.0). No prior running experience was the most important risk factor in male (HR 2.6; 95% CI 1.2–5.5) and female (HR 2.1; 95% CI 1.2–3.7) participants.
Conclusions: The incidence of running-related injuries in recreational runners preparing for a four-mile running event is substantially high. Male and female participants have different risk profiles. Furthermore, the findings suggest that novice runners are the most availed by preventive interventions for RRI.