USATF Launches Study to Determine Effect of Pre-Run Stretching on Injuries


Jill Geer
Director of Communications
USA Track & Field

INDIANAPOLIS - USA Track & Field, the national governing body of track and field, long-distance running and race walking, has launched a large-scale study to determine the relationship between pre-run stretching and running injuries.

Runners 13 years of age or older who run 10 or miles a week are encouraged to participate in the study. The results of the study will be published for use by the running community and other interested groups. "It is an important study in that there has not been a large, randomized, well-controlled study to show the effect of pre-run stretching on injuries," said study coordinator Alan Roth, PhD.

Each participant will be randomly assigned either to stretch or not to stretch before their usual running routine. Those assigned to stretch will follow a detailed 4-minute protocol of pre-run stretches of the hamstring, quadriceps and calf muscles over a period of 3 months.

The study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board of Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland. The Road Runners Club of America will serve as an outreach partner and promote the study to its members. The Principal Investigator of the study is Dr. Daniel Pereles, an orthopedic surgeon and avid runner who has been a medical advisor and contributing author to Runner's World magazine since 1994.

To learn more about the study or to register to be a participant, visit

Additional information about the study

What is required of participants: Participants are to follow their assigned protocol for 3 months and report injuries during their participation in the study. At the conclusion of the 3-month period, they will complete a Wrap-Up report detailing their compliance with the assigned protocol and their injury status.

Risks of Participation: It is possible that participants will experience injuries regardless of whether they are assigned to the stretch group or non-stretch group.

How long the study will last: Although each participant's own study period will be three months, the study will be open to new participants until there is enough evidence to make statistically relevant conclusions.

About USA Track & Field

USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit