Risk models for lower extremity injuries among short- and long distance runners: A prospective cohort study


      • Risk models for short- and long distance runners did not differ much.
      • Previous injuries, training volume and age are important in prevention of RRI's.
      • There might be an optimum weekly training volume.



      Running injuries are very common. Risk factors for running injuries are not consistently described across studies and do not differentiate between runners of long- and short distances within one cohort.


      The aim of this study is to determine risk factors for running injuries in recreational long- and short distance runners separately.


      A prospective cohort study.


      Recreational runners from four different running events are invited to participate. They filled in a baseline questionnaire assessing possible risk factors about 4 weeks before the run and one a week after the run assessing running injuries. Using logistic regression we developed an overall risk model and separate risk models based on the running distance.


      In total 3768 runners participated in this study. The overall risk model contained 4 risk factors: previous injuries (OR 3.7) and running distance during the event (OR 1.3) increased the risk of a running injury whereas older age (OR 0.99) and more training kilometers per week (OR 0.99) showed a decrease. Models between short- and long distance runners did not differ significantly. Previous injuries increased the risk of a running injury in all models, while more training kilometers per week decreased this risk.


      We found that risk factors for running injuries were not related to running distances. Previous injury is a generic risk factor for running injuries, as is weekly training distance. Prevention of running injuries is important and a higher weekly training volume seems to prevent injuries to a certain extent.


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