Table 3

Themes, subcodes and exemplary quotes on the onset and care for complaints

Main themeSubcodeExemplary quote
OverloadingNo proper build-upRunner 2: ‘If you suddenly scale up your intervals, training sessions, or distances because you want to train from a half marathon to a full marathon. Those are the risky points.’
Lack of restRunner 8: ‘You know, when I was running six days per week doing an average per day of, I think, around 11 kilometres and still pushing on a speed of around 40 to 44 min then after a period of time, after a few months without having a proper rest you know, these things accumulate, and the muscles became much more fragile eventually.’
General fatigueRunner 5: ‘If I've had a day where I've been massaging [job] really intensively, and I would indeed have to train on Monday, and I vaguely feel that I'm thinking 'ooh'. Then I think, maybe it would be smarter not to go tonight. It is not so much that I feel an injury or something, but it is more like general fatigue or just not feeling like it.’
Runner 10: ‘Yes, fatigue can really be a factor. If you are really tired, running can help against that fatigue, but then it is smarter to run 5 kilometres instead of 15.’
ComplaintsSmall painsRunner 6: ‘As long as it is not too much, just a pain, then it is not so bad. Then I think that it will go away, and often it will.’
Ability to continueRunner 11: ‘When running, I have times when I have pain at my ankle or something, but I just walk through it.’
Runner 5: ‘If I really seriously couldn't run anymore, that would really, yes, be the point for me to say, well, yes, that is really an injury. But look, if I have a pain here or there, I will not immediately stop and see that as an injury.’
Self-regulationAdjust loadRunner 2: ‘If you have had a tough week, it does not mean that you should not go for a run even though you feel tired. You may say: well, I will take it a little less far or a bit easier.’
Influencing factorsCompetitive drive/performance goalsRunner 12: ‘There are always runners who think 'hmm, John always runs slower than me, and now John is running faster than me, but I don't want that to happen. So, I’m still going to push to come in well before John.’ You really see that happen every training. I can almost blindly point out to whom it is going to happen.’
Runner 5: ‘I am not saying that that is the bulk, certainly not, but yes, people who are really fanatic and really train to improve their performance. They eventually will start to feel a pain somewhere or be injured or get injured.’
Race planning/training scheduleRunner 2: ‘Because Valencia is my only marathon this year, I think it’s a shame. I will go to Spain for a whole weekend. I am training for three months. I'm not going to have this plan ruined.’
Everyday lifeRunner 12: ‘Besides running, I try, in any case, to be very physically active. I have a physically strenuous job, so I am busy all day. I am not someone who sits still. I also have to walk the dog regularly, so yes, I still have an active day besides running. I think that also plays a role.’
Social controlRunner 12: ‘I am running with a group, and I do not want to let that group down.’
Runner 6: ‘Running in a group gives you some pressure, like the feeling. you have an appointment, and you have to go.’