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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 Oct 22

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.11304-5


language: English

Running-related injuries in Portuguese trail runners: a retrospective cohort study

Sérgio MATOS 1, 2 3 , Bruno A. FERREIRA da SILVA 1, 3, 4, Filipe M. CLEMENTE 1, 5, Joel PEREIRA 1, 2, 4

1 Escola Superior Desporto e Lazer, Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Viana do Castelo, Portugal; 2 Unidade de Investigação e Treino em Trabalhos em Alturas e Atividades de Ar Livre, Melgaço, Portugal; 3 Faculty of Education and Sport Sciences, University of Vigo, Pontevedra, Spain; 4 Research Center in Sports Science, Health and Human Development, CIDESD, Vila Real, Portugal; 5 Instituto de Telecomunicações, Delegação da Covilhã, Covilhã, Portugal


BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to characterize trail running injuries within a cohort of Portuguese male and female recreational trail running athletes.
METHODS: The study was retrospective (12 months), with data collected through an online survey. A total of 719 athletes participated (529 male and 190 female, average age: 38.01 ± 7.78 years). A valid questionnaire was used to collect (i) demographic information; (ii) general information; (iii) training typology; (iv) physical information; (v) injuries (body location, number, type, reason, treatment, time without practice); and (vi) general information concerning the effects of injuries on respondents’ daily lives.
RESULTS: The results revealed that 87.8% of the sample contracted an injury resulting from this practice, with the toenails (24.8%), knees (17.5%), and ankles (14.5%) being the most-often reported locations of injuries and blisters (20%), irritation (chafing) (14%), superficial wounds (12%), sprains (11%), and iliotibial band syndrome (7%) being the most common injuries. The result of 10.0 injuries per 1000 h was found, with a negative and medium correlation (r = -0.344; p = 0.000) between total exposure time and injuries per 1000 h. It was also found that those who don't perform warm-up have a significantly increased injury rate (p< 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The gathered evidence demonstrated a large number of dermatological and musculoskeletal injuries, and these tended to have higher incidences in athletes with less exposure time and who devalue warm-up exercises.

KEY WORDS: Ultra-distance; Endurance sports; Performance; Sports training; Incidence

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