Runners needed to help prevent injuries

A University of Bath researcher is looking for keen runners to keep an online diary of their training habits and injuries, to help find out how they can reduce common running injuries.

PhD student Jenny Perkins, from the University’s Department for Health, will analyse the information to look at links between the type of training runners are doing, distance, age and injury.

She hopes to be able to tell runners what they can do to reduce their risk of injury, such as shin splints, back problems and knee pain.

Jenny is looking to recruit at least 1,000 volunteers from across the UK to the study, to log their training and injuries into a free online training diary over 12 months.

Runners of any ability are invited to take part if they are doing a minimum of three hours of running per week. Participants must be UK residents and aged over 18 years of age.

There is no upper age limit to the study and Jenny is particularly interested to find out about age-related differences in injury and training habits.

Jenny is a keen runner herself and has already clocked up over 30 marathons. She said: “There’s lots of evidence to say that distance running has a high injury incidence but few long-term studies that look at what the rate actually is.

“It’ll also be interesting to look at the protective aspects, to see whether cross training – including aerobic training that’s not running- affects injury rates.

“This study is really important to me personally because I’ve suffered lots of running injuries and I know just how frustrating it can be to have your training and race schedule curtailed or completely scuppered.”

Participants in the study can email Jenny with queries at any point and they’ll receive a monthly email with updates on the study and information. They also have the chance to win a monthly draw for a pair of free shoes from running shop Up and Running.

Jenny will be recruiting until May 2011 and expects to publish her results in summer 2012. Follow-up research is likely to involve studying runners in the University’s Biomechanics lab.

To volunteer for the study or for more information please email Jenny Perkins at