Table 1

 Study characteristics

Author, year of publicationStudy design (follow up period)Running typeNo included/analysed (%)Description of populationInjury definitionQuality score of study
*This population was used to determine risk factors.
†This group was selected from the 1219 runners who are known to have started the marathon.
‡Description of population concerned all included subjects.
§Description of population concerned the 4559 entrants of the marathon, not the 3462 registered starters; significantly more over-40 s (82%) were registered than younger entrants (75%) (p<0.05).
¶The injury definition was extracted from the results section in the article, while this is normally obtained from the materials and methods section.
BMI, body mass index (kg/m2); CT, computed tomography; F, female; M, male; y, years.
Taunton et al, 200319Prospective cohortRecreational runners, registered in training clinics, interested in either completing a 10 km race or improving their existing race time.1020/844 (82.7%)24.4% M: 75.6% FExperiencing pain only after exercise (grade 1); pain during exercise (grade 2); pain during exercise and restricting distance or speed (grade 3); pain preventing all running (grade 4).6
(12–13 wk)M, age (y): 12.3% <30, 51.5% 31–49, 19.1% 50–55, 17.2% >56.
M, BMI: 1.0% <19, 55.1% 20–26, 41.0% >26
F, age (y): 18.6% <30, 63.6% 31–49, 11.5% 50–55, 6.3% >56.
F, BMI: 4.3% <19, 69.8% 20–26, 16.7% >26
Lun et al, 200412Prospective cohortRecreational runners, running more than 20 km/week.153/87 (56.8%)50.6% M: 49.4% FAny musculoskeletal symptom of the lower limb that required a reduction or stoppage of a runners’ normal training.6
38.0 y
Steinacker et al, 200118Prospective cohort (6 months)58 runners in training for a marathon, of whom 42 did participate in a marathon.58/58 (100%) of whom 42 ran a marathon.62.1% M: 37.9% FInjuries and having had to skip training.3
M: 43.6 y, 76.3 kg, BMI 23.1
F: 45.5 y, 61.7 kg, BMI 23.3
Satterthwaite et al, 199917Prospective cohort (1 week)Runners participating in a marathon.1054/875* (83.0%)Age (y): 5.7% <25, 12.5% 25–29, 17.4% 30–34, 21.3% 35–39, 43.2% ⩾40(1) Injuries and other health problems sustained by runners attending the medical aid posts.6
Satterthwaite et al, 1996161054/916 (86.9%)†80.3% M: 19.7% F‡(2) Specific health problems using a matrix of 13 body sites and 11 problem types sustained both during or immediately after the marathon and in the seven days following the marathon.7
38.6±9.8 y (range 19–74 y)
Wen et al, 199821Prospective cohort (32 wk)Runners participating in a training programme for a marathon.355/255 (71.8%)42.0% M: 58.0% FAnswering yes to having had “injury or pain” to an anatomical part; answering yes to having had to stop training, slow pace, stop intervals, or otherwise having had to modify training; and a “gradual” v “immediate” onset of the injury or a self reported diagnosis that is generally considered an overuse injury.6
41.8±10.8 y
M: 176.8±6.3 cm, 79.3±11.7 kg
F: 164.3±7.3 cm, 64.1±12.3 kg
Bennell et al, 19969Prospective cohort (12 months)Track and field athletes during one season.111/95 (85.6%) of whom 21 were long distance runners.52.3% M: 47.7% F‡(1) Stress fracture (diagnosis on a bone or CT scan was made using a blinded protocol)6
M: 20.3±2.0 y, 179.3±6.1 cm, 70.3±7.8 kg(2) An injury was defined as any musculoskeletal pain or injury that resulted from athletic training and caused alteration of normal training in mode, duration, intensity, or frequency for one week or more.
F: 20.5±2.2 y, 167.4±6.1 cm, 59.0±5.6 kg
Macera et al, 198914Prospective cohort (12 months)Runners wishing to be notified of road races.966/583 (60.4%)83.2% M: 16.8% FA self-reported “muscle, joint or bone problem/injury” of the lower extremities (foot, ankle, Achilles tendon, calf, shin, knee, thigh or hip) that the participant attributed to running. The problem had to be severe enough to cause a reduction in weekly distance, a visit to a health professional, or the use of medication.6
M: 41.6±9.5 y (range 13–75 y), 178.6±6.5 cm (range 154.9–195.6 cm), 73.6±8.7 kg (range 39.6–104.6 kg), BMI 23.0±2.2 (range16.5–31.0)
F: 36.1±8.2 y (range 22–64 y), 164.3±6.0 cm (range 149.9–180.3 cm), 54.5±6.1 kg (range 40.9–76.4 kg), BMI 25.8±2.4 (range 20.2–34.6)
Walter et al, 198920Prospective cohort (12 months)Runners participating in a 4, 5.6, 16, or 22.4 km race and all adult members of the organizing clubs.1680/1288 (76.6%)76.5% M: 23.5% FInjuries, defined as “severe enough to reduce the number of miles run, take medicine, or see a health professional.7
M, age (y): 9.8% 14–19, 19.0% 20–29, 38.7% 30–39, 24.4% 40–49, 8.1% ⩾50
F, age (y): 16.2% 14–19, 28.4% 20–29, 41.3% 30–39, 10.2% 40–49, 4.0% ⩾50
Bovens et al, 198910Prospective cohort (18 months)Runners participating in a training programme for a marathon with three phases (finished with a 15, 25, and 42 km race, respectively).115/73 (63.5%)79.5% M: 20.5% FAny physical complaint developed in relation to running activities and causing restriction in running distance, speed, duration, or frequency was considered to be an injury.7
M: 35.2±7.9 y, 178.1±5.7 cm, 71.9±6.4 kg
F: 33.5±6.7 y, 165.6±5.1 cm, 57.5±5.0 kg
Lysholm & Wiklander, 198713Prospective cohort (12 months)Competitive athletes of two track and field athletes during one season.60/60 (100%) of whom 28 were long distance runners.28 M long distance/marathon runnersAny injuries that markedly hampered training or competition for at least one week.5
34.5±7.4 y
Kretsch et al, 198411Prospective cohort (1 day)Runners participating in a marathon.1098/459 (41.8%)75.8% M: 24.2% F(1) Injuries occurring immediately before the race; medical problems experienced during the race; pains or “unusual” symptoms developing after the race.4
(2) A description of the principal symptoms and any other symptoms present at a first aid station.
Nicholl & Williams, 198215Prospective cohort (1 day)Runners participating in a marathon.3462/3429 (99.0%) of whom 1140 ran a half marathon and 2289 ran a full marathon.93.8% M: 6.2% F§Clinical details of all contacts made by runners with any of the 12 first aid posts.6
Macera et al, 199123Retrospective cohort (1 month)Runners participating in a 5 or 10 km race, or in a marathon.534/509 (95.3%) of whom 347 ran a 5 or 10 km race and 162 ran a marathon.77.0% M: 23.0% FMusculoskeletal problems: development of problems in foot, ankle, Achilles tendon, calf or shin, knee, thigh, or hip, regardless of cause, that required a consultation with a physician or reduction in usual running mileage. These problems may or may not be due to running.4
M marathon (37.2%): 36 y, 69.0%<45 y
F 5 & 10 km (62.8%): 80.0% <45 y
M marathon (13.7%): 33 y, 94.0% <45 y
F 5 and 10 km (86.3%): 87.0% <45 y
Jakobsen et al, 198922Retrospective cohort (1 day)Runners participating in a half or a full marathon.831/831 (100%)88.0% M: 12.0% FInjuries: ankle sprains; overuse/stress injuries of feet, ankle, lower leg, knee, or thigh; blisters.¶3
34.6±9.75 y
Maughan & Miller, 198324Retrospective cohort (1 week)Runners participating in a marathon.497/449 (90.3%)95.0% M: 5.0% FInjuries incurred during training and the race itself.3
32±8 y‡
Nicholl & Williams, 198225Retrospective cohort (10 days)Runners participating in a half or a full marathon.614/557 (90.7%) of whom 242 ran a half marathon and 312 ran a full marathon.83.2% M: 16.8% FMedical problems in the week after the race.¶6
Half marathon: 73.6% M, 26.4% F, 74.4% <40 y, 25.6% ⩾40 y
Full marathon: 90.7% M, 9.3% F, 76.6% <40 y, 23.4% ⩾40 y