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RUNSAFE proudly presents a new protocol for the SPRING study

SPRING means “RUN” in Swedish and we are collaborating with our colleagues and friends from University of Gothenburg to analyzing data from a cohort of runners who are followed for a 1-year period.

2018.06.27 | Rasmus Østergaard Nielsen


It is assumed that a running-related (overuse) injury occurs when a specific structure of the human body is exposed to a load that exceeds that structures’ load capacity. Therefore, monitoring training load is an important key to understanding the development of a running-related injury. Additionally, other distribution, magnitude and capacity-related factors should be considered when aiming to understand the causal chain of injury development. This paper presents a study protocol for a prospective cohort study that aims to add comprehensive information on the aetiology of running-related injuries and present a new approach for investigating changes in training load with regard to running-related injuries. Methods and analysis This study focused on recreational runners, that is, runners exposed to a minimum weekly average of 15 km for at least 1 year. Participants will undergo baseline tests  consisting of a clinical / anthropometrical examination and biomechanical measurements. Furthermore, participants will log all training sessions in a diary on a weekly basis for 1 year. The primary exposure variable is changes in training load. A medical practitioner will examine runners suffering from running-related pain and, if possible, make a clear diagnosis. Finally, additional time-varying exposure variables will be included in the main analysis, whereas the analysis for the secondary purpose is based on time-fixed baseline-related risk factors.


Jungmalm, J.; Grau, S.; Desai, P.; Karlson, J.; Nielsen, R.O.; Study protocol of a 52-week prospective running injury study in Gothenburg: SPRING. BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, 2018; 4:e000394.

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