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.