Dissertation for endurance running and injury

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    Hi
    It is my final year for my BSc Hon. Degree in Exercise, Health and fitness and I am searching for a good topic in injury and long distance running for my dissertation. Thinking on the lines of prevention in injury which seems to need more research or the risk factors associated with running? Just wandered if anyone has further ideas which would be appreciated.
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    (Original post by Tracymac)
    Hi
    It is my final year for my BSc Hon. Degree in Exercise, Health and fitness and I am searching for a good topic in injury and long distance running for my dissertation. Thinking on the lines of prevention in injury which seems to need more research or the risk factors associated with running? Just wandered if anyone has further ideas which would be appreciated.
    Just thinking aloud here so forgive me if this does not come across as coherent.

    You could investigate whether there is a correlation between injury and the rate of perceived exertion. Our bodies are well adapted for long-distance running and people report a low rate of perceived exertion (RPE) compared to say, rowing, so it would be interesting to see whether there was a physiological breaking point where injury and RPE rise linearly. This would suggest there is a point where people reach where they do tend to feel really tired and increase the chance of injury.

    However, I have a feeling that lots of people report injury and high RPE even when they are not really that tired or injured (e.g. people attempting to lose weight). The real-world application of this would be to take account of these psychological effects when advising the type and intensity of exercise. For example, swimming might have a higher RPE than running so you do relatively less of it and burn fewer calories. But it is very clear from the outset that the chance of injury is very low so people have no exercise to stop doing it. When people are more confident you can move them onto more demanding exercise which burns more calories. Alternatively, you start people off running at lower speeds than you know they can physiologically handle purely to give them confidence.

    I have heard this doctrine repeated a lot when I have read the literature: the best form of exercise is the one you actually do. This kind of research taps into that.

    The way you would test this effect is to get people to run at least two trials at multiple distances; some of the trials they will know how far they have to run and some you will blind them. You would probably expect injury/RPE rates to be higher at known long distances, but not when they are blinded or the distance is short. What this means is that when people know they have to run a long distance they are more likely to report an injury or high RPE rate compared to when they ran the same distance but did not know they had to run that far (i.e. you get your body into a nice comfortable rhyme and just run without thinking about it).

    Random thoughts...
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    Hi Evanteji
    Interesting what you mentioned of RPE and injury, from experience as a runner you tend to find that most injuries happen with speed work or perhaps hill running. However sometimes it has been known to be mileage or like you say when you are tired. Where the psychology is concerned wasn't really aiming to go down that route. Further ideas I thought of was prevention of injuries of long distance runners which is still a matter for further research. What are the risk factors associated with injury I.e. Mileage, fatigue, age and speed.
 
 
 
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