This thesis addresses the subject of drop-out from running programs and the reasons runners give for having stopped running. A review of the literature revealed that must is known about running and the effects on health. Although some authors have written about the adverse affects of running on health, many others view running more positively, referring to it as healthful, and even therapeutic, for many medical conditions. No references could be found to studies primarily dealing with the subject of drop-outs from running programs. Assuming that running experts a net positive effect on health, it is logical that efforts aimed at encouraging running to continue running would be worthwhile. Such efforts, in order to be effective, should be based on knowledge of why runners shop running. In order to gain knowledge of why runners stop running, 100 current and 100 former runners in Salt Lake City were identified by random digit dialing in a limited area of the city. They were interviewed by phone and data were gathered regarding their running habits (weekly mileage, pace per mile, shoes most frequently worn, etc.), their experiences in running (injuries, pain, changes in prior medical conditions, etc.), and their attitudes about running (boredom with running, effect of competition or running partners on desire to continue running, reasons for starting and stopping, etc.). We found that most runners began running for medical or physical fitness reasons (e.g., to stay in shape, lose weight, sustain general health, improve cardiovascular functioning, etc.). The reason given for stopping were predominantly social, personal, and emotional (e.g., not enough time, major lifestyle change, enjoyed another sport more, lazy, etc.). Less than 20% of former runners said they stopped for medical or physical reasons. Former runners reported boredom with running and lack of satisfaction with running much more often than did current runners. Most current and former runners reported they noticed improvement in their prior medical conditions (heart, lung, overweight, depression, and smoking) with running. We found contradictions in the data regarding shoes. The respondent subjectively reported that expensive shoes were their favorite shoes and hurt the least, yet cross tabulation of shoes most frequently worn by complaints of pain and injuries pointed to expensive shoes as being associated with complaints more often than were less expensive shoes. Stretching was general protective against complains in current runners, but former runners whose running program were strenuous received no such protection from stretching. We concluded that if a runner set realistic goals for his running program, varies his route, runs on interesting and attractive routes, enters some races, and moderates his weekly mileage and pace per mile, he will be less likely to drop out of his running program once started.
University of Utah;
University of Utah;
Relation-Is Version Of
Digital reproduction of “Why runners stop running.Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library. Print version of “Why runners stop running.” available at J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collection. GV 8.5 1981 S68.