Objectives: To determine the proportion of participants of a running program for novice runners that discontinued running and investigate the main reasons to discontinue and characteristics associated with discontinuation. Design: Prospective cohort study. Methods: The study included 774 participants of Start to Run, a 6-week running program for novice runners. Before the start of the program, participants filled-in a baseline questionnaire to collect information on demographics, physical activity and perceived health. The 26-weeks follow-up questionnaire was used to obtain information on the continuation of running (yes/no) and main reasons for discontinuation. To determine predictors for discontinuation of running, multivariable logistic regression was performed. Results: Within 26 weeks after the start of the 6-week running program, 29.5% of the novice runners (n = 225) had stopped running. The main reason for discontinuation was a running-related injury (n = 108, 48%). Being female (OR 1.74; 95% CI 1.13–2.68), being unsure about the continuation of running after the program (OR 2.06; 95% CI 1.31–3.24) and (almost) no alcohol use (OR 1.62; 95%CI 1.11–2.37) were associated with a higher chance of discontinuation of running. Previous running experience less than one year previously (OR 0.46; 95% CI 0.26–0.83) and a higher score on the RAND-36 subscale physical functioning (OR 0.98; 95% CI 0.96–0.99) were associated with a lower chance of discontinuation. Conclusions: In this group of novice runners, almost one-third stopped running within six months. A running-related injury was the main reason to stop running. Women with a low perceived physical functioning and without running experience were prone to discontinue running.

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Keywords Drop-out, Exercise, Healthy lifestyle, Physical fitness, Sedentary lifestyle, Start to Run
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2018.06.003, hdl.handle.net/1765/108978
Journal Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport
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Fokkema, T. (Tryntsje), Hartgens, F, Kluitenberg, B, Verhagen, E. (Evert), Backx, F.J.G, van der Worp, H. (Henk), … van Middelkoop, M. (2018). Reasons and predictors of discontinuation of running after a running program for novice runners. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2018.06.003