BACKGROUND: Running is a popular form of recreational exercise. Beside the positive effects of running on health and fitness, the risk of a running related injury has to be considered. The incidence of injuries in runners is high and varies from 30-79%. However, few intervention studies on prevention of running related injuries have been performed and none of these studies involved novice runners.
METHODS: GRONORUN (Groningen Novice Running) is a two armed randomized controlled trial, comparing the effects of two different training programs for novice runners on the incidence of running related injuries. Participants are novice runners, who want to train for a four mile running event. The control group will train according a standard 8 week training program. The intervention group will use a more gradual, 13 week training program which is based on "the ten percent training rule". During the thirteen week follow up participants register information on running and RRI's in an internet based running log. The primary outcome measure is RRI. An injury is defined as a musculoskeletal ailment of the lower extremity or back, causing a restriction of running for at least one week.
DISCUSSION: The GRONORUN trial is the first randomized controlled trial to study a preventive intervention in novice runners. Many different training programs for novice runners are offered, but none are evidence based.