IS THERE EVIDENCE FOR AN ASSOCIATION BETWEEN CHANGES IN TRAINING LOAD AND RUNNING-RELATED INJURIES? A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW

Review written by Tom Goom info

BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Training error is thought to be responsible for 60 to 70% of running injuries, with tissue overload being a key factor in their development. Despite this there is a lack of evidence demonstrating that changes in training load are related to injury in runners. It is helpful to know the role of training changes in running injury development as training structure and progression are readily modifiable and could be altered to reduce injury risk. This study aimed to systematically review evidence from original articles to examine this role.

METHODS

Research databases were systematically searched and studies were included if they were of appropriate design (randomized trial, prospective cohort study, cross-sectional study or case-control study), participants were runners aged 18 to 65, and information regarding changes in training load was provided.

Over 8,000 articles were identified through searches. Removal of duplicates and primary screening excluded the majority of studies. The full text of 65 papers were assessed and a further 61 were excluded, primarily as they didn’t provide information on changes in training load. Following this process, just four articles remained for quality assessment within the review.

RESULTS

A tendency toward an increase in injury risk following a sudden increase in training load was identified in 3 out of the 4 included papers. Within these studies two changes were identified that were associated with increased injury risk:

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