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  • Writer's pictureLuke Nelson

Running training patterns & injury development

After attending Rasmus Nielsen's talk on running injuries earlier this week, we thought it worthwhile to revisit one of his earlier studies that we have found useful clinically over the years.

Nielsen set out to explore running-related injuries that develop due to rapidly changing running volume, versus those that develop due to rapidly changing running pace.

What he found was that a rapid change in running VOLUME may lead to the development of:

  • Patellofemoral pain

  • Iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome

  • Patellar tendinopathy

Whilst a sudden change in running PACE may be more associated with the development of:

  • Achilles tendinopathy

  • Gastrocnemius injuries

  • Plantar fasciopathy

How can we use this clinically?

When managing the above conditions, we find it worthwhile to keep this in mind when planning return to running, or progression of training loads. For example, for those suffering from patellofemoral pain, a more gradual increase in training volume (i.e mileage) may be warranted, but earlier introduction of faster runs can often be tolerated.

Conversely, for those suffering from Achilles tendinopathy, early avoidance of faster runs is often necessary, and focusing on building volume may result in a better outcome.

If you need assistance with your running injury, please don't hesitate to contact us at!


Nielsen, R. O., et al. (2013). "Classifying running-related injuries based upon etiology, with emphasis on volume and pace." Int J Sports Phys Ther 8(2): 172-179.

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