Fear of Running Injuries? Learn How to Prevent and Strengthen


Fear of Running Injuries? Learn How to Prevent and Strengthen!


January and February are crucial months for building strength and preventing injuries as you start your running journey for the year.  


If you have ever been told that you have “weak glutes” or “glute amnesia”, suffered from achilles tendinopathy, or a bone stress injury from running then you will want to hear what I learned at the national physical therapy conference this past month.


In this episode, I am also sharing 4 key strength training and running tips to help you build a solid foundation for which all future half marathon and marathon training will be built upon.

I’m not holding anything back as I share my secrets to strength, injury prevention, and running tips that I have learned the first 2 months of this year!


Listen to the Podcast Episode during your next run!



Watch the LIVE video version of this episode below on YouTube!


You will learn about these topics and more!


– Single best muscle group to strengthen for injury prevention

– 3 step process to getting stronger glutes as a runner

– Achilles Tendinopathy updates

– Bone stress injuries and how to prevent them

– Base training and running races

– Running when travel and weather are roadblocks

– 4 keys to strength training for runners

– Best shoes to wear when strength training


Whether you’re a beginner runner or an experienced runner who has been struggling to figure out the right recipe for strength training and running, this episode is for you!


Join me as we explore how to approach strength training, injury prevention, and running in the early months of the year.  Stay tuned for valuable tips, the latest research, techniques, and insights on how to make the most out of your running journey during the beginning of the year!


Listen to my previous episode on Achilles Tendonitis Treatment and Prevention here


Listen to my previous episode on Winter Running Gear here


Listen to my previous episode on Base Training Updates for Your Best Race Season


Watch and follow along with coach Cat’s 30-Minute Treadmill Workout

This Episode Sponsored By:

A big thanks to Naboso for your support for this episode!

Want to know how I prioritize foot health as a runner?  Kinesis board and toe splays from Naboso.


Naboso’s newest product, the Kinesis board features dual sensory stimulation, a micro-wobble system and a single-leg platform to improve my stability for running!


Click here and use code HEALTHYRUNNER for 20% off your entire Naboso order! 


1. Glutes are king and the hips still don’t lie 

Strengthening the Glutes have been shown to be help within the interventional literature multiple times for lower back pain, Hip Impingement (FAI), and Runner’s Knee (PFP)

“The Running Muscle” = The Glute Max

DON’T NEED TO SQUAT DEEP (if the goal is glute max strengthening)

Deeper you go in squat- Glute max loses mechanical advantage, adductor Magnus gains mechanical advantage

In summary, think more about less lowering for your squats and lunges and adding in a 45 tilt angle of your spine/ trunk to help strengthen those all important glutes for running!

2. Achilles Tendinopathy… It’s all about loading the tendon 

ONLY 4% of achilles tendinopathy actually rupture!  You will not snap your achilles while doing distance running!

Tendon loading is key for adaptation and healing but is also the reason for injury!

Treat “minor” symptoms with load control VS. symptom control





Recovery from Achilles tendon pain…need to optimally load the tendon to remodel it in order to improve function with running.

Peak achilles force:


4.5x bodyweight with jogging

5-5.5x bodyweight with running

12.5x bodyweight with sprinting

Summary: NEED to wait until structure and function of tendon are restored before adding speedwork or faster running*… Embrace the easy run (not only for your Achilles healing but for your aerobic system!)


3. Bone Stress Injury (BSI)

What is a BSI? Failure of skeleton to withstand submaximal forces acting over time. The injury results from failed healing response illustrated by feedback loop of failure to meet ongoing demands to bone and repair of microdamage and represents a continuum of injury to bone that can progress to stress fracture or full cortical break.

Greater vertical displacement and decreased step rate are associated with BSI risk!

Peak vertical ground reaction force is likely a factor to BSI

No evidence shoes impact  BSI risk
(keep an eye on the super shoe literature)

**Starting to see more navicular injuries with super shoes**

~ 20% greater Increased running related injury risk associated with super shoes (preliminary data)

Risk factors for runners are often multifactorial including biological/genetic factors, and sex differences can contribute to risk for injury and guide management from BSI.

Sleep has also been shown to be a risk factor for bone loss and may influence bone healing.


The best way to prevent bone injuries is by proper load management (running plan that is properly progressed) and strengthening your lower leg muscles especially the hips, ankle and foot muscles!


4 Things I learned about Strength & Running

1. Base training means NO racing!  Still seeing way too many people racing during their “offseason”.  Ok if it is in your training paces but not race effort and trying to PR.

2. Running needs to be flexible with travel or weather during the beginning of the year!  Stop being so darn rigid!

3. Get in the gym or do strength training at home!  It is the key for developing that solid foundation in which all running is built upon for months to come!

  • Keys to Strength Training
    • Start where YOU are at
    • Lift heavy if you have strength trained before
    • Train with jump training if you have done strength training before
    • Always add in at least 1 single leg exercise each day you do strength

Personally, I have enjoyed getting back in the gym 3x/week and starting a 12 week progressive plyometric (jump training) program to strengthen my tendons so they can withstand the hard 5k, half marathon, and marathon training coming in these next 7 months!  

4. Stop using your Hokas to do your strength training! Use less supportive shoes for strength training to strengthen your deep foot muscles.  I am seeing a movement with maximalist shoes going from the running community into everyday gym peeps with more and more “non runners” wearing Hoka’s to do their strength training in.  This is actually the opposite of what we want as we want to feel the ground to build up our foot core and strength of our deep foot muscles!


[Download] My Free Resource: Strong Glute Guide


Connect with Dr. Duane:

Dr. Duane Scotti, DPT, PhD, OCS is a running physical therapist, run coach, host of the Healthy Runner podcast, and founder of Spark Healthy Runner and has been a leader in the rehab and running community for 20+ years.


Duane initially started running as an adult, wanting to add some cardio to his gym sessions. After having a hip surgery, his doctor advised him to get off the treadmill and run outside. Without having fully recovered, Duane suffered a running-related hamstring tendon injury and many others as a novice runner.


As a coach, he has guided thousands of athletes back to running, finishing their first marathon, crushing a personal best, and even the elusive Boston Marathon qualifying time.


He is truly living his passion educating the running community that they don’t need to stop running to get over a running injury.  Through his signature 1:1 coaching program, weekly videos, and podcast episodes, he empowers runners to get stronger, run faster, and enjoy lifelong injury free running.  Dr. Duane truly believes that anyone can run and that all runners should be treated differently when recovering from an injury.  He is on a mission to change the traditional thinking that running causes “overuse injuries” or “your body is just not meant to run” and you must “take a break” to get better.  Through strength and run specific training you can grow a strong mind, strong body, and just keep running!


Duane received his Bachelor of Health Science degree and Master of Physical Therapy degree from Quinnipiac University in 2001 and 2003. He then went on to receive a clinical Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Ph.D. in Physical Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2017. Duane is a board-certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist, RRCA Certified Running Coach, Certified Mulligan Practitioner, certified in dry needling and has advanced training in spinal manipulation and rehabilitation for runners.


As an athlete, Duane is an adult-onset runner, avid half marathoner, and enjoys challenging himself to learn and grow in his personal running journey!


A native New Yorker from Long Island, Duane currently lives in Cheshire, Connecticut with his wife Deb and his two teenage daughters who are competitive volleyball players.  They all love to explore new beaches along the east coast.




Get weekly running tips on the Healthy Runner Podcast…available wherever you get your podcasts!


Related posts

Nutrition Keys To Success For Running Races | Fuel and Hydration For Runners

Do you want to know how to fuel and hydrate properly before you run your first virtual half marathon?  Have you struggled with hitting the wall during your previous races?  I know I have!  My legs locked up during my first and only full marathon in Hartford.  I wish I knew how to stay hydrated… View ArticleRead More

Winter Running Gear from Head to Toe

Do you want to keep running during the cold winter months?   I have coach Whitney LaCombe from our Spark Healthy Runner coaching team from our Healthy Runner coaching team with me here today to share how you can dress for winter running success!   In this episode, coach Whitney shares what layers you need… View ArticleRead More

Plantar Fasciitis Fix in 5 Steps

  Want to relieve your foot pain when running?  Have you tried to rest, ice, and stopped running but every time you try to increase your mileage again your pain just comes back?   Trying to get over plantar fasciitis as a runner can be overwhelming.   I have a 5-step plan on how to… View ArticleRead More

“I don’t have enough words to express my gratitude towards Duane Scotti and the Spark Healthy Runner program. When I started working with Duane, I had been dealing with chronic shin splints/posterior tibialis tendinitis for almost a year.

I had worked with multiple other coaches and physical therapists with little success and was at the point of almost giving up on my love for running. Duane is so kind, thoughtful and knowledgeable as both a physical therapist and running coach. Our first virtual meeting lasted two hours because he was so meticulous in his assessment. His strength and running program is progressive and created so that you can continue to build strength and mileage as you heal. His strength program is unique, effective, and fun.

Additionally, his warm-up routine is awesome and includes drills that over time have made me a more efficient runner. His training platform is easy to use, and he is always readily available to chat when problems or questions arise.

Over four months of working with Duane, I have built back to five days a week of running and am almost back up to my pre-injury weekly mileage and long run distance. Whenever I have flare ups or setbacks, Duane reassures me and makes necessary adjustments so that I can continue to progress in my running journey. I have had so much success with him so far that I have signed on for four more months so that he can help me to continue getting stronger as I train for the Dopey challenge in Disney World.

If you are struggling with a running injury and are feeling hopeless, you have to reach out to Duane Scotti. Of course, you will have to put in a lot of hard work, but with Duane by your side, you will be able to achieve your goals and more. Thank you Spark Healthy Runner for bringing the spark back to my running!”

Dipti Pandya

You can teach an old dog new tricks!!!  I have never considered myself a runner and I knew I needed to be smart about it because I am no spring chicken. Spark preached getting strong and healthy to be injury free and they practice what they preach.  I am soooo glad I made the investment in me!  I finished my half marathon last weekend and couldn’t be any happier!  The program fed me all the steps I needed to essentially learn how to run long distance, build strength, nutrition help, a forum of other runners and probably most important was the 1:1 coaching.  I had no idea how to tackle training for a 1/2 marathon and this program broke all of it down, had it individualized for me and we tweaked as we went to make sure I was staying healthy and strong.  I had so many questions the week prior to my race and Coach Cat was always there for me and answering all the questions and issues I had-and believe me there were a lot!  The biggest benefit I think I got was the strength. I am strong and fit. But most important was what I gained emotionally.  I built confidence and strength I didn’t know I had, even at my age.  Honestly could not have done this without Spark Healthy Runners!

Gina J.

My Healthy Runner journey started after I had battled bilateral achilles pain for a few months and was frustrated how it affected my running. As soon as I talked to Duane I knew I had made the right decision. His positivity, enthusiasm and genuine care are infectious. The training plan that was tailored to me included specific exercises to rehab my injury and I was so excited that I didn’t have to stop running. It took patience to only run slow for a few weeks but I trusted the process and it got me me to where I am now: running pain free. We made adjustments to the plan throughout whenever needed having someone in your corner that is always there with guidance and support throughout the process was invaluable.

I just ran my second half marathon, both with Duane’s coaching, and PR’d by over 9 minutes! I got all choked up in the last mile when I realized that I felt strong and could still kick it up a notch.

I’m so thankful for the Healthy Runner program, community and the entire coaching team for all the support!

Katja L.

Sign up for our weekly blog and podcast in order to help you maintain a strong mind, strong body, & just keep running!