Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)




College of Science

First Advisor

Gregory Martel


Injuries, including those resulting from falls, are virtually unavoidable in the sport of cross country. Due to the constantly changing terrains that cross country runners face, falls and injuries may be a more common aspect of the sport than previously thought. The strenuous nature of the sport and increased injury risk faced by runners are things that make being successful very difficult. Researchers have made connections between joint stability, muscle fatigue, proprioception, and muscle strength and injury/fall rate. Studies have found that balance abilities are lower in fatigued muscles. The frequent injury trends in distance runners show that many of the overused muscles are weak, as well as their proprioceptive abilities. Thus, balance training and strength training could improve strength, decrease fall risk/injury, and possibly improve performance. Addressing these issues could improve balance and muscle strength, and therefore, decrease injuries which could lead to mass improvements to the sport as a whole. Taking a closer look at the balance performance abilities of the cross country athletes at Coastal Carolina University may indicate the need for additional balance and strength training in distance runners as a whole.