Duane Scotti is Breaking the Injury Cycle with a Realistic Approach

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My guest today is on for round two and we have a lot to catch up on since our first chat.

He is a physical therapist (PT), run coach, podcaster, dad, and husband.

I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Duane Scotti today.

Duane Scotti

The Marathon Deserves Respect

When asked what his favorite distance is to race, Duane Scotti changed the answer that he gave a few years ago.

He now prefers the marathon to the half marathon for various reasons.

The marathon is his passion project and he enjoys the training process just as much as race day.

Duane has been running for about 7 years and has made a lot of mistakes during that time.

He went a full 5 years between his first marathon and his second.

In total, he ran 3 marathons with his third one being the one where everything came together.

Regardless of experience level, Duane learned that the marathon deserves respect.

In his opinion, a new runner shouldn’t attempt the distance for the first 1 to 2 years.

Growing as a Runner

Duane has slowly ramped up his distance over time to adapt to the demands of running.

He adheres to the philosophy that certain steps must be taken to grow as a runner.

In January of 2024, Duane will take on his biggest running challenge yet.

He is currently training for the Disney Dopey challenge which is a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon all in one weekend.

His body feels great headed into the weekend which he attributes to his focus on recovery.

Recovery is an area of running that often gets overlooked and not given the respect it deserves.

Duane Scotti

An Overlooked Tool

Following his most recent marathon, Duane took a full 14 days off of running.

For the first week, he focused on:

  • Foam rolling and gentle mobility
  • Walking and moving
  • Nutrition and hydration

During the second week of recovery, Duane returned to the gym but focused on light lifting and mostly upper body.

He slowly eased back into running, scaling it back into his routine.

Sleep is another form of recovery that often gets overlooked, but its benefits can’t be overstated.

It’s a low-hanging fruit that most people can improve upon.

Taking Away Guesswork

Duane has been a physical therapist working primarily with runners for most of his adult life.

In his experience, he has found that most healthcare providers give injured runners a plan that is too conservative.

His company, Spark Healthy Runner, helps runners “get stronger, run faster, and enjoy lifelong injury-free running.”

Duane offers free resources on his website in a variety of areas that benefit runners.

He has built his programming around the principle of respecting the process of tissue healing.

His structured plans take away any guesswork and prevent the patient from going on emotion.

Duane uses a pain scale to determine the acceptable zone that a client is able to run.

Some discomfort is normal during the healing process as long as it falls into the lower end of the pain scale.

Duane Scotti

Patience is Key

When Duane is helping a client return to running patience is key.

The time can vary depending on the severity of the injury along with the experience level of the runner.

In his experience, 3 to 5 months is the average amount of time it takes to return to running following an injury.

Duane has a 3 phase plan that he has all of his clients follow.

The first phase focuses on restoring the body back to the demands of running.

The second phase is rebuilding the body in a way that is similar to base training.

Phase three is when the retraining occurs.

When done the correct way, the return to running will eliminate the constant injury cycle.


Mentioned In This Episode:

Stay connected with Duane Scotti by following him on InstagramYouTubeTwitter, and/or Facebook.


Duane Scotti has made it his life mission to give runners the knowledge needed to have a lifetime of pain-free running. Click To Tweet


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