Run Clever - No difference in risk of injury when comparing progression in running volume and running intensity in recreational runners: A randomised trial

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Background/aim The Run Clever trial investigated if there was a difference in injury occurrence across two running schedules, focusing on progression in volume of running intensity (Sch-I) or in total running volume (Sch-V). It was hypothesised that 15% more runners with a focus on progression in volume of running intensity would sustain an injury compared with runners with a focus on progression in total running volume. Methods Healthy recreational runners were included and randomly allocated to Sch-I or Sch-V. In the first eight weeks of the 24-week follow-up, all participants (n=839) followed the same running schedule (preconditioning). Participants (n=447) not censored during the first eight weeks entered the 16-week training period with a focus on either progression in intensity (Sch-I) or volume (Sch-V). A global positioning system collected all data on running. During running, all participants received real-time, individualised feedback on running intensity and running volume. The primary outcome was running-related injury (RRI). Results After preconditioning a total of 80 runners sustained an RRI (Sch-I n=36/Sch-V n=44). The cumulative incidence proportion (CIP) in Sch-V (reference group) were CIP 2 weeks 4.6%; CIP 4 weeks 8.2%; CIP 8 weeks 13.2%; CIP 16 weeks 28.0%. The risk differences (RD) and 95% CI between the two schedules were RD 2 weeks =2.9%(-5.7% to 11.6%); RD 4 weeks =1.8%(-9.1% to 12.8%); RD 8 weeks =-4.7%(-17.5% to 8.1%); RD 16 weeks =-14.0% (-36.9% to 8.9%). Conclusion A similar proportion of runners sustained injuries in the two running schedules.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000333
JournalBMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

    Research areas

  • Injury, injury risk difference, Recreational runners, Running intensity, Running volume

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