I came across a research abstract that confirms hunches that I've had all my life. The first involves rotating shoes during a running week. While I usually run in the same model and brand of shoe, I have a high mileage shoe with between 200 to 400 miles on them and a low mileage shoe with between 0 to 200 miles. I typically do my longer runs in the low-mileage shoes. The abstract notes that this practice results in a hazard ratio of 0.614%. This represents a greater than half reduction in injury rate amongst runners who run in multiple shoes. However, a history of prior injury greatly increases the probability of a new injury.

I was surprised that increased session distance decreased the hazard ratio for injury. Said another way, the more you run, the less likely you are to be injured. I have always believed the reverse, but this is also saying that the more experienced the runner is, the less likely she will be injured.

Finally, cross-training results in a hazard ratio of 0.982%, meaning that cross-training has little or no impact on running-related injury rates (RRI). Admittedly, I lift more for aesthetic reasons than because I think it would make me a better runner. However, I always rationalized it by believing that strength training also decreased my odds of RRI.

  • Malisoux, L., Ramesh, J., Mann, R., Seil, R., Urhausen, A. and Theisen, D. (2015), Multiple shoe use and running injuries. Scand J Med Sci Sports, 25: 110-115. https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.12154