Does strength training prevent injury in marathon runners? A Randomized Study of a Strength...

Does strength training prevent injury in marathon runners? A Randomized Study of a Strength Training Program to Prevent Injuries in Runners of the NYC Marathon

Clinical Question: Does a 12-week strength training program decrease the rate of overuse injuries resulting in non-completion? Does this program also improve race finish time?

Research Update…

Source: Sports Health, first published October 23, 2019

Bottom Line

There is a high prevalence of injury among first-time marathon runners. The incidence of overuse injury resulting in non-completion was 7.1% in the strength training group and 7.3% in the observation group. Mean finishing time was 5 hours 1+/-60 min in strength training group, 4 hours 58 +/-55 minutes in obs group (P=.35).

Points to consider

This is a well done randomized trial. A total of 720 runners were enrolled (mean age, 35.9 =/-9.4 years: 69% female). Of the 583 runners who started the marathon, 579 completed it.

Takeaway

This self-directed strength training program did NOT decrease overuse injuries in runners, especially for high-risk populations such as first-time marathon runners.

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