What 2020 Has Taught Me


Have you had a challenging year in 2020?  Unless you predicted the coronavirus and knew you wouldn’t run many races this year, this year has been a crazy and unexpected roller coaster ride for you too!


In this episode, 

I am going to share the lessons I learned during this crazy year that can help you hit your running goals in 2021!


I will break down my 6 Lessons Learned during 2020 that relate to my life and business but also will share how they relate to our running too!


Here is a sneak peak on those lessons:


  • Stay away from negative energy
  • Set boundaries
  • Difference between expectations and goals
  • Make a plan
  • Set priorities
  • Invest in yourself


Click the video below to watch the LIVE within the Healthy Runner Facebook Group


Listen to the Podcast Episode during your next run!


I will be getting a bit more reflective here in this blog and packaged this up into 6 tips!


This has been a crazy year for all of us.  We are living through our first pandemic and I had plans to get closer to my half marathon PR.  I thought I would run 3 half marathons this year.  I thought I would lead my first half marathon training program for the big local half marathon near me (the Cheshire half marathon). 


I am going to be fully transparent with you here today.  My world like so many of you got turned upside down and was especially scary as a small business owner whose primary form of income was helping people in person using the skills of my hands!


I learned many lessons this year and I want to share them with you for our last blog of 2020!


Lessons learned from 2020:


 1. Stay away from negative energy  


You become the company you are surrounded by.

If you are following people who constantly post negative energy then just stop watching their videos and they won’t show up on your social media news feed.  Think about how their content makes you feel.  I know I felt this way with the news in the beginning of the pandemic or if you watched too much news during the civil unrest, ongoing financial crisis, or the 2020 election!  Set limits on how much you consume this information.  If your family or your co workers are downers and focus on the negative about the current situation then spend more time in communities that focus on the light or the positive energy like the…Healthy Runner Facebook group 🙂  We are positive and will lift you up!!  


Negative energy can affect your motivation to run or get your strength training done.  Remember, consistency is key and is the 5th tip as part of the SPARK Blueprint.  OMG… super pumped about this and haven’t even announced this publicly yet BUT the SPARK Blueprint is FINALLY done!!!  This was the foundation I set for the podcast in the beginning of 2020 and I am so happy it is now available for consumption.  This eBOOK is totally FREE and is the 5 tips to run stronger and healthy in 2021!  This resource is filled with bonus training videos and exercise videos to implement the foundational principles of the Healthy Runner community.  Click this link here to be one of the first to get the Blueprint in your inbox!


 2. Set boundaries & remember the important people in your life 


This is especially important to remember the important people in your life and and set time aside for them!  During the beginning of the coronavirus in the spring of 2020, I was working from home and I got to go for a mental clearing run with my wife and the girls were on their bikes every day around 3 pm.  I would then play volleyball with my girls every day for a mental cleansing break from work and then I would hit it hard again for some more virtual telehealth sessions for my runners.


This made me realize what I was missing when I was working every night to grow my business.  This made me realize the importance of setting a premium on family first or the people I love the most.  Trust me, the balance between work and family is still a struggle but I believe I am doing better.  Like running, it is a work in progress!


One positive step in the right direction is that when I went back to in person treatments in my clinic, I decided that I was going to not work on Wednesday and Friday nights anymore and we would have family dinners together.  We also love playing games after dinner whether it is BLOKUS, CLUE, Sequence, or Rummikub.  That family time is just so precious and valuable!


 3. The difference between expectations and goals


My business coach taught me this recently because when we launched the Healthy Runner Strength program 2 weeks ago, I had goals of helping 50 runners this winter with our healthy runner strength program (now we are at 49 so we are close) but I could not expect that or I would be disappointed.


The biggest difference between goals and expectations is that goals are meant to be something that you are working toward achieving.  They are generally something you’re passionate about and something you genuinely want to achieve in your life or business.



RUNNER: Your goal of getting under 4 hours in marathon or sub 2 hour half marathon or sub 20 or 30 min 5k time are great aspirations and goals but they may not be under your control.  What if you have terrible weather or your stomach just didn’t agree with you on race day?  Your expectation is that you will put in the work, put in the training, be consistent, and follow the best guidance you can have to accomplish your goal and put your best foot forward.  That is the expectation and you have to be o.k. with that.  Sometimes it is out of your hands and trust me I am a positive person and I personally would love to get back to my half PR times but my expectation is that I put the work in and do my best and make sure I have done everything in my power to accomplish that goal. 


 4. Make a plan


I am a big proponent of making a plan to achieve your goals!  A matter of fact, the initial success of the Healthy Runner podcast in 2020 did not just come from starting it randomly after the pandemic.  I was talking and planning for the podcast before 2020 and planned on helping runners with a run coaching plan for the Cheshire half marathon before the pandemic.  Plan for 2021 now and make a plan for YOUR running goals.  Don’t just say I want to run a half marathon.  What is your plan?  Are you going to get a plan online?  Join the Team Healthy Runner Half Marathon Training Program? Hire a coach and do 1:1 coaching?


 5. Set Priorities



Think about your goals and how you will get there.  For me when COVID first happened, my goal was to make sure my podcast launch was successful so I could help more runners learn through the podcast and have the greatest impact on my community that I was passionate about.  Prior to COVID, I helped runners, dancers, and gymnasts and spent 2 of my evenings a week in gymnastics gyms coughing up chalk from the uneven bars!  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed helping this population because like runners, most of the medical community doesn’t understand the demands of that sport and I had a daughter that was a gymnast and had a passion for learning more about gymnastics medicine.  However, with gyms closing down and when all of my FOCUS and priorities went to helping the running community I was able to get more accomplished and have a greater impact than I ever did prior to setting my priorities.


RUNNER:  Set priorities based on your running goal:  If it is to run a certain distance then you need to prioritize consistent runs multiple times throughout the week and increasing your long runs.  If it is to get faster then you need to prioritize your strength training, plyometric training, and speed work to improve your speed.  Also don’t forget about prioritizing your nutrition and sleep in order to hit your running goals because those play a crucial role in your success!



 6. Invest in yourself


For the parents reading this…  I want to know how many of you would do anything for your kids?  Have you paid lots of money for your kids dance, gymnastics, soccer, horseback riding lessons.  Have you probably got 1 too many gifts under that tree this year for them that they probably don’t really need but we just do that as parents for our kids right?  I can certainly relate to this!


Scotti Christmas 2020


For those that don’t know, I started my business out of necessity and didn’t plan for it.  Just happened organically from a need that I was able to fill with the gap in the medical system for athletes and active adults.


So I didn’t really have any money to invest in my business, but this year I was able to invest in myself and my business.  I paid for my run coaching certification, programs to launch my telehealth practice, and most recently an amazing business coaching program to launch my online business.  If I didn’t do these things then I wouldn’t have been able to finally launch the Healthy Runner Strength program.  Sometimes you need to invest in yourself if you want to get to the destination and meet your goals.


RUNNER: so for you that might mean investing in a run coach, personal trainer, taking an online course, or buying a training plan to make you a smarter and healthier runner because we don’t know everything!


In this blog, we talked about the lessons learned during this unforgettable year of the healthy runner podcast launch! It is my hope that you learned something in this article that can help you take your 2021 running to the next level!


Are struggling to get your workouts in and you know you should be strength training but you are not sure what to do?


Just because you are home, doesn’t mean you can’t work out!


If you are looking for more direction and guidance, during the first 12 weeks of 2021, The NEW Healthy Runner Strength program will do just that and is for the dedicated runners like yourself who wants to level up and continue moving forward during winter


Get the workout plan, exercises, and structure to improve YOUR confidence and strength for running


What is the Healthy Runner Strength program?

This program is a self-paced 12-week step-by-step video/spreadsheet training program focused on IMPLEMENTING life-changing run specific workouts to improve your strength and confidence for your running.


Healthy Runner Strength program is perfect for you if:


  •   You are new to running and don’t know what exercises you should be doing for running to prevent injuries


  •   You are an experienced runner and you always wanted to get faster and now you finally have the time to focus on your weak points (your strength) so all of those spring miles will be easier on your legs!


We already have 49 runners in the program who took advantage of the early bird rate and I am just loving the feedback!


If you are ready to commit to getting stronger in 2021 click the link to learn more below. 


Healthy Runner Strength Program


Improve Your Confidence & Strength For Running

Imagine you running without having to think or spend time wondering what you need to do for workouts to stay sane and run this winter so you can feel good about yourself again…

The NEW Healthy Runner Strength program will do just that and is for the dedicated runner who wants to level up over these next 3 months and continue moving forward!⠀⠀

Get the workout plan, exercises, and structure to improve YOUR confidence and strength for running

CLICK HERE to learn more!




Our Healthy Runner Facebook community will be growing in leadership as we will have our Healthy Runner team of coaches contributing more content and assisting as moderators within the group.


New Programs Coming in 2021


Popular Team Healthy Runner Half marathon program launches January 15th and will start February 1st so keep your eye out for that info coming soon in 2021!


Healthy Runner Episodes Booked in 2021:

  1. Harrison and Mo Crum from Marathon Training for Beginners
  2. Jen Giles is a registered dietitian to share helpful info on nutrition for runners
  3. Dr. Petrigliano is a Professor, Chief of Orthopeadic surgery Keck Medicine of USC.  He serves as the head team physician for the LA Kings hockey team and a team physician for USC Athletics. He will be discussing early OA in runners knee’s and management strategies
  4. Let’s GET AFTER IT with Olympian Carrie Tollefson


Carrie is a five time NCAA champion, three time National champion, and represented the United States in the 2004 Olympic Games.  Carrie brings her fitness expertise and bubbly personality to her widely popular C Tolle Run podcast and I am more than humbled to have her come on Live within our community!


We will be chatting about:

⁃            Life after the sport

⁃            Running and training through pregnancy

⁃            Trying to run fast in a different way

⁃            Staying fit while not putting in tons of mileage


Here’s to a fantastic, SPARK filled 2021. Happy New Year, my Running Friends!


You can listen to all the information in this episode on the Healthy Runner Podcast…available wherever you get your podcasts!



Here is what other runners are saying about the podcast



Thank you (running friends) for taking the time to read and I hope you enjoy the podcast episode!

Warmest regards,


– Duane


Duane Scotti, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS



⚡️ SPARK Physical Therapy and the Healthy Runner Podcast  Helping Active Adults Be Able To Run Without Aches and Pains So You Can Feel Good About Yourself Again…

[Even If You Don’t Think You Are A Runner]

If you are a runner and frustrated with your nagging aches and pains and have been told to stop running, we can help you.


Health for Runners BY Runners ‍


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“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.

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