The NLstart2run study: Training-related factors associated with running-related injuries in novice runners

Bas Kluitenberg*, Henk van der Worp, Bionka M. A. Huisstede, Fred Hartgens, Ron Diercks, Evert Verhagen, Marienke van Middelkoop

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Web of Science)


Objectives: The incidence of running-related injuries is high. Some risk factors for injury were identified in novice runners, however, not much is known about the effect of training factors on injury risk. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the associations between training factors and running-related injuries in novice runners, taking the time varying nature of these training-related factors into account. Design: Prospective cohort study. Methods: 1696 participants completed weekly diaries on running exposure and injuries during a 6-week running program for novice runners. Total running volume (min), frequency and mean intensity (Rate of Perceived Exertion) were calculated for the seven days prior to each training session. The association of these time-varying variables with injury was determined in an extended Cox regression analysis. Results: The results of the multivariable analysis showed that running with a higher intensity in the previous week was associated with a higher injury risk. Running frequency was not significantly associated with injury, however a trend towards running three times per week being more hazardous than two times could be observed. Finally, lower running volume was associated with a higher risk of sustaining an injury. Conclusions: These results suggest that running more than 60 min at a lower intensity is least injurious. This finding is contrary to our expectations and is presumably the result of other factors. Therefore, the findings should not be used plainly as a guideline for novices. More research is needed to establish the person-specific training patterns that are associated with injury.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-646
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • Running injuries
  • Etiology
  • Injury prevention
  • Novice runners

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