Duane Scotti Works To Help Runners Enjoy Lifelong Injury Free Running

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Today’s guest is a physical therapist who is all about helping runners stay healthy and proactively avoid many of the common maladies within our sport.

He’s also a running coach and a podcast host in addition to being a runner himself.

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

Duane Scotti

Adult-Onset Runner

Duane Scotti is a self-described adult-onset runner.

He was 32 and working as a physical therapist (PT) when he first took up running.

Prior to running, Duane was a gym rat that could be found working out 5 days a week for the last couple of decades.

Two significant life events, the birth of his daughter and a torn hip labrum, caused his activity level to drop drastically.

Duane gained some weight following his surgery and his doctor suggested running to get back in shape.

He wasn’t thrilled at the idea of running outside in the winter but decided to give it a try.

That first run was cold and hard, but Duane enjoyed being outside in the fresh air.

Spending time outside evoked childhood memories, when he used to spend most of his time outdoors.

The Many Benefits Of Running

It didn’t take long for Duane to run his first 5k.

He was officially hooked on the sport after that first race.

Duane enjoyed the many benefits that running provided.

He loved the physical challenge as well as the many mental benefits.

Many runners new to the sport make mistakes and Duane was no different.

One mistake that Duane was guilty of in the first few years was running too fast, too often.

It took him about 2 to 3 years of making rookie mistakes before he learned enough about the sport to train in a smart and healthy way.

Duane Scotti

Running Isn’t For Everyone

Though Duane himself is a runner and loves the sport he also recognizes that it may not be right for everyone.

There are many forms of exercise and the most important thing is finding one that you love.

Along with being a runner himself, Duane works as an orthopedic/sports medicine PT.

His specialty is treating athletes.

The injuries Duane has experienced himself have made him more knowledgeable about what injuries are more common in runners.

Adult runners should be treated differently than adolescent athletes.

A lot of people get into running as a way to lose weight or get in shape.

A shift in mindset is important for these people to start viewing themselves as athletes.

Specific Training Principles (Beyond Running)

Duane is passionate about educating others on how to train in a way to minimize risk.

There is often a fine balance of pushing performance but also allowing for ample recovery.

Strength training should always be included in a runner’s training plan.

As runners, it’s important to focus on muscle groups that are specific to running.

Duane has specific training principles that go beyond running that he always recommends:

  • Plyometric training– A physical foundation is needed before attempting this type of training. Beginners should work up to plyometrics.
  • Single leg exercises– Running by nature is a sport where the athlete is constantly alternating being on one leg. Single leg stability and strength are crucial to help correct imbalances.
  • Self-mobility/soft tissue care– This includes foam rolling, stretching, massage, and various other modalities. The muscles are working hard and in order to prevent injury, they must be taken care of.

Consistency and training smart can help overcome some of the common training errors that can occur.

Healing With Activity

The majority of running-related injuries don’t require a complete break from running.

Bone-stress injuries and/or nerve injuries are two examples of where running through the injury is NOT recommended.

Most injuries heal better when the athlete is able to maintain some level of activity.

As a runner himself, Duane understands the importance of exercise on mental health.

When searching for a medical professional it’s helpful to find ones that are either runners themselves or work primarily with runners.

Those criteria will help to ensure that the clinician understands the demands of the sport.

A knowledgeable professional will be able to bridge the gap between being an injured runner to being a healthy runner.

Healthy Runner Podcast

Duane began his podcast in January of 2020, shortly before the pandemic occurred.

He started it with the hope that he could help as many people as possible.

His podcast is based on the idea that everyone should be able to enjoy lifelong injury-free running.

The pandemic had an unexpected upside for Duane because it allowed him to devote more time to his newly launched podcast.

Healthy Runner Podcast is especially helpful for those who don’t want/can’t afford a coach.

Duane along with the many knowledgeable guests on his podcast has had a positive impact on the running community.

The podcast has given Duane the opportunity to make connections that he wouldn’t have otherwise.

His inclusion of the sport in both his personal and professional lives shows his true love for the sport.

Duane runs for a variety of reasons, but when he lost his mom to covid during the pandemic, it helped him deal with his grief.

Duane Scotti

Mentioned In This Episode:

Stay connected to Duane Scotti by following him on Instagram.

When Duane Scotti isn't running, his work revolves around the sport as a physical therapist, podcast host, and coach. Lifelong injury-free running is his goal for himself and those he works with. Share on X

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