Injury Prevention For Runners: Tips To Support Your Training

As runners, we really only have 2 goals... 

  • Run faster/farther than we ever have before.
  • Remain injury free.

For the last 4 years, it has been our goal at Revive Sport & Spine to be the leading sports chiropractic clinic serving the greater Salt Lake City area when it comes to running-related injuries and prevention.  Having aimed for the same goals mentioned above through my own running the last 20+ years, there are few endurance sport related injuries that I have not encountered either personally or clinically.  

While we field questions about running form, injury prevention, running shoes, pre-race meals, training plans, strength training, etc., some questions are better answered by those who work in that arena day in and day out.  

Over that last few months, we were able to sit down with a few local specialists in sports nutrition, mental skills training, strength training, and running shoes.  Our goal was to find out how each component can aid runners with injury prevention.  

INTERVIEW 1:  Nutrition Tips For Runners with Dietitian Tayla Russell


  • Runners and other endurance athletes are different from athletes who play soccer, football, baseball, etc., and therefore have higher specific nutritional needs that fluctuate depending on the distance and type of race.  One must is that we need more carbs during our training cycles.  Choose good carbs like grains, fresh fruit, and fresh vegetables.  
  • As runners, injuries are inevitable.  Know what foods can help during the healing cycles can speed up your recovery and get you back out on the road or trails quickly.  Great Anti-Inflammatory foods include healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and seeds, high anti-inflammatory fruits like pineapple, and spices such as ginger and turmeric.  
  • Myth:  All runners must carb load before a race?  False, while long-distance runners do need some extra for energy stores later in the race, most people just over-eat the night before a race.  So if you are waking early the next morning for a 5k or 10k race, you are better served to have a light dinner of fresh veggies, lean protein, and a small amount of carbohydrates.
  • Contact:  Tayla Russell - - 435.553.5698 - Max Muscle Cottonwood

INTERVIEW 2:  Mental Skills Training with Nate Last, M.S. from Mental Grit Consulting


  • Negative Self Talk:  Negative talk puts us in our own way on our path to our goals.  Everyone does it and it is a major contributor to not performing at our best.
  • Ideal Mindset: We have an ideal mindset, we have to practice it just like everything else we are working on.  Understand you can accomplish your goals, we can and will fail at things in the process, but use it as a building tool to strengthen your mindset.  
  • Process Before Outcome:  When training and racing, focus on the basics, focus on doing everything you can do RIGHT NOW, in the moment that will help you perform better in the future.  It is okay to think ahead and dream about the future, but don't stay there!  Bring yourself back to the process.  
  • When Injured:  Stay on track through an injury.  Believe your body is capable of healing and training again.  When you believe this, it will happen, and it will likely happen faster.  
  • Contact: Nate Last - Mental Grit Consulting - 801.368.7564

INTERVIEW 3: Strength Training For Runners with Ryan Carver, CSCS from Leverage Fitness Solutions


  • Should Runners Weight Train:  YES!  Weight training can help prevent injury by building the strength of not just your muscle, but ligaments, tendons, and joints.  Weight training can also make you faster by improving your overall economy and efficiency.  
  • Increase The Weight Or Volume:  As runners, we spend most of our time doing high volume training.  So when it comes to weightlifting, increasing the weight and shift toward lower reps is ideal to obtain the most benefit.  Also, just because we run or cycle, we still need to lift with our legs, don't shy away from the squats, lunges, and deadlifts.  
  • Top Exercises For Runners: (1) Weighted Step-Ups (2) Nordic Curls - Hamstring (3) Hip-Hike (4) Shin Strength - Toes To Shin w/ Resistance (5) Stir-The-Pot Core Exercise.
  • Contact: Ryan Carver - Leverage Fitness Solutions - 385.985.3603

INTERVIEW 4: Running Shoes & Injury Prevention with Darrell Phippen from Wasatch Running Center


  • New Technology: All name brands have great technology, but which one is best for you and your running style and goals?  Shoes are lighter, have better and more comfortable uppers, and have more fits than ever before.  Getting a correct fit, and finding the best shoe for YOU, is almost as important as your training plan.  
  • Shoe Fitting:  Trying a shoe on is not enough to make a decision.  How does it feel with movement, walking and running?  Working with the professionals who have been trained in shoe fitting can make all the difference in finding the right shoe to help you remain injury free.  
  • How Many Shoes Do You Need:  As runners, more shoes is always better.  But when you look at the average mileage of shoes, 250-350, and how often you run, having multiple shoes has its advantages.  Our suggestion is to have a minimum of 2 shoes if you are primarily a one surface runner, 3 if you mix trails with road running.  This allows them to last longer, continually challenge your feet and allow them to adapt to a variety of surfaces, and help prevent injury.  
  • Contact: Darrell Phippen - Wasatch Running Center - 801.566.8786

Dr. Reheisse is a Board Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician practicing in Cottonwood Heights Utah. Revive Sport & Spine provides evidence-supported chiropractic care and conservative sports injury management.

Current Status: Low Back Pain Care

Current Status:  Low Back Pain Care

Low Back Pain is one of the most common reasons for an office visit and affects upwards of 540 MILLION people.  Providers from all walks of healthcare encounter these patients daily, but have we made any headway in providing pain relief and direction for low back pain? 

Iliotibial Band Syndrome Pain - What You Need To Know & What You Can Do About It.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome Pain - What You Need To Know & What You Can Do About It.

Runners in Utah and all over the country have expereinced that stabbing knee pain, during and after a run, that seems to come out of no where, leaving you sidelined and unsure what caused it or how to deal with it.  Iliotibial Band Syndrome, or ITBS, is one of the most common injuries experienced by new and veteran runners alike.  We discuss some of the basics and a few simple tools to help deal with it.  

How To Properly Warm Up Before You Run

Dynamic Running Warm-Up

If you are like some runners you prepare for your run by quickly bending over, touching your toes, then standing up and grabbing your foot behind your low back.  If you are like MOST runners, you don't even do that!  In place of a long-winded stance on why you should warm up and research showing that warming-up before exercise not only prevents injury but improves performance (1), we are just going to cover the bases of a great running warm up through our Bands, Balance, & Bounce Running Warm Up.


  • Clamshell
  • Glute Bridge
  • Band Walks
  • Low Row




  • Plank
  • Dead Bug
  • Bird Dog
  • Single Leg Stance
  • Leg Swing



  • Iron Cross
  • Scorpion
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Plank Twists
  • Butt Kickers
  • High Knees
  • A-Skips
  • Side Shuffle
  • Carioca
  • Reverse Shuffle Butt Kicker

Dr. Reheisse is a Board Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician practicing in Cottonwood Heights Utah. Revive Sport & Spine provides evidence-supported chiropractic care and conservative sports injury management.

(1) Fradkin, Zazryn, Smoliga.  Effects of Warming-Up on Physical Performance: A Systematic Review With Meta-analysis.  The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. January 2010.  

R.I.C.E may have been A-L.I.E.

If you have ever rolled an ankle, pulled a hamstring, or thrown a ball too hard a few too many times you have probably heard of and used RICE.  You remember...

Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.  


RICE was coined by Dr. Gabe Mirkin MD back in 1978 when it was first printed in ‘The Sports Medicine Book’.  Since then, it has been the gold standard of care for just about every mild to moderate sports, and non-sports, injury…...despite the mountain of evidence against ice and complete rest.  

Before we dive in, I will state that I am not totally against ice.  In the acute phase of an injury it can aid in inflammation control...note I did not say complete elimination of inflammation, and can also help with pain control.  What I will come out against is complete rest.  We have evidence that continued cardiovascular effort speeds healing, training of the contralateral (other side) decreases recovery time, and continued activity in some way or another keeps our mind positive and focused on recovery.  

Back to the topic of RICE.  While many upon MANY of physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, and athletic trainers still suggest RICE for an injury to this day, those of us who are progressive in our care methods, who look for safer, more effective ways to speed recovery have been pushing back for years.  But, what does the creator have to say?

When I wrote my best-selling Sportsmedicine Book in 1978, I coined the term RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression,Elevation) for the treatment of athletic injuries. Ice has been a standard treatment for injuries and sore muscles because it helps to relieve pain caused by injured tissue. Coaches have used my “RICE” guideline for decades, but now it appears that both Ice and complete Rest may delay healing, instead of helping.
— Why Ice Delays Recovery - March 20, 2014 by Gabe Mirkin, MD

Before we go on, let's just address inflammation.  Before you start popping NSAIDs day and night, know that inflammation is a natural process of the body to heal damaged tissues.  Within inflammation are cells specifically designed with specific roles to clean up damaged tissue and accelerate repair.  This could be its own LENGTHY post but for our purposes, NSAIDs block the pathway for these cells to do their job and should be used with caution, combine that with too much ice and complete rest and we have a perfect storm for mobility restriction and delayed healing.

So...what do you do with a strain/sprain injury?  Ideally, if you are unsure of the severity, have it checked out.  If we have no breaks, major tears, and have ligament integrity and joint stability, now is the time to stay some extent.  

After years of research, RICE may have been.... A-LIE.    


  • ACTIVE REST:  If you are injured, rest for up to 24 hours is acceptable.  After that, complete rest becomes detrimental.  Under the guidance of a trained sports-medicine professional, activities such as joint range of motion, tissues stretching/flexibility, and tissues LOADing are necessary to speed healing.  While we remain active, the rest component comes from decreased volume and/or intensity.
  • LOAD:  What do we mean by load?  Tissue (muscles, ligaments, tendons) and bone respond to load.  In a less extreme version of ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ sort of way, what are you preparing your body for?  If you are a runner, we need to get back to running, in some way, shape, or form...quickly.  This allows your tissues to understand the LOAD it will encounter and that it needs to grow, adapt, and strengthen.  
  • ICE:  Icing an injured area causes the blood vessels to constrict, decreasing the amount of blood that can travel to an area, in turn, decreasing the amount of inflammation and healing cells as well.  While using ice is almost cult-like in a locker-room, it would be wise to limit its use to 10 minutes at a time and, only repeating 2-3 times after an injury.
  • EXERCISE:  Lastly, general exercise helps us stay positive, stay focused, maintain our routine, and most importantly, help speed recovery.  Cardiovascular exercise can help maintain your fitness base, decrease strength loss, and a host of other benefits that keep us on the right track during an injury.  
Dr. Reheisse is a Board Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician practicing in Cottonwood Heights Utah. Revive Sport & Spine provides evidence-supported chiropractic care and conservative sports injury management.