Prognosis and prognostic factors of running-related injuries in novice runners: A prospective cohort study

Tryntsje Fokkema*, Robert Burggraaff, Fred Hartgens, Bas Kluitenberg, Evert Verhagen, Frank J. G. Backx, Henk van der Worp, Sita M. A. Bierma-Zeinstra, Bart W. Koes, Marienke van Middelkoop

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: To investigate the prognosis and possible prognostic factors of running-related injuries (RRIs) in novice runners.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Methods: Participants of Start to Run, a 6-weeks course for novice runners in The Netherlands, were asked to participate in this study. Before the start of the course a baseline questionnaire, on demographics, physical activity and perceived health, was sent to runners willing to participate. The 26- or 52-weeks follow-up questionnaires assessed information on RRIs and their duration. Only participants that sustained a RRI during follow-up were included in the analyses. An injury duration of 10 weeks or shorter was regarded as a relatively good prognosis, while an injury duration of more than 10 weeks was defined as a poor prognosis. To determine the associations between baseline characteristics and injury prognosis and between injury location and injury prognosis, multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed.

Results: 347 participants (48.8%) sustained an RRI during follow-up. The RRIs had an overall median duration of eight weeks (range: 1-52 weeks). Participants with a previous RRI were more likely to have a poor prognosis (OR 2.31; 95%CI 1.12-4.79), while a calf injury showed a trend towards an association with a relatively good prognosis (OR 0.49; 95%CI 0.22-1.11).

Conclusions: The duration of RRIs in novice runners is relatively long, with only calf injuries being associated with a good prognosis. This emphasizes the need of injury prevention measures in novice runners and adequate support during and after an RRI, especially in runners with a previous injury. (C) 2018 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-263
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Recreational running
  • Start to run
  • Novice running program
  • Sports injuries
  • Prognostic factors
  • RISK

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