This article was created Personal Injury Help (, an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice, and it is intended for informational use only.

While running is one of the healthiest forms of exercise, the fact of the matter is that you’re much smaller and harder to see than a car. If you ever run alongside traffic, staying visible is key to having a safe and incident free run. Here are some top tips you can use to stay seen by cars, cyclists, and pedestrians:

Tip #1: Cater Your Attire to the Time of Day
Some clothing is more visible depending on what time of day you’re running. When you’re running in the daytime you should opt for something that’s fluorescent. Lime green is the most striking color to wear, but bright yellows, oranges, and pink all work very well. If you’re running at night it’s not really important to wear fluorescent clothing because motorists won’t see you anyway. What you should wear is something that’s reflective. This allows you to stand out when a car’s headlights pass over you. When a car is far behind you, its headlights will only reach your torso at best, so consider purchasing sneakers with reflective strips. These will be easily visible for motorists from afar.

Tip #2: Run Against Traffic
Sidewalks were not built for runners. Uneven sidewalk and broken bricks are just as dangerous as motorists, if not more so. If you’re forced to run directly in the road, be sure to run against traffic. This will give you a couple of extra seconds to react to reckless driving if need be. When running in traffic it’s always important to follow all local traffic laws and regulations.

Tip #3: Use a Flashlight
If you’re running at dawn or dusk you should always have some kind of light on you. Flashlights are a great option for keeping your path visible as well as alerting motorists to your position, but you can also clip flashing white or red lights to your clothing if you’d prefer to run hands-free. Headlamps may not be the most fashionable option, but they’re a great way to see any hazards in front of you as well as making yourself stand out from afar to motorists.

Tip #4: Run in a Group!
Two runners are always more visible than one. Running in a group essentially guarantees that everyone on the road will see you and give you ample space while passing. Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t run more than two abreast—otherwise, you run the risk of becoming a road hog. Running in a group also gives you the added benefits of accountability buddies. Many studies have shown that those who exercise with friends will work out longer and run faster than they would on their own.



Inflammation in runners may cause undesired weight gain and overall generalized achiness. Our bodies naturally create inflammation to repair muscular damage which is a healthy healing response however there are also dietary factors that could be causing unnecessary inflammation.

Research has shown that there are 7 common foods that could be causing inflammation in your body. The 7 foods are dairy, gluten, corn, soy, sugar, peanuts and eggs. To uncover if your body is reacting to these foods, I suggest a 3 week diet of eliminating these foods and then gradually introducing 1 of these food groups every 2 days thereafter and monitoring your body for signs of inflammation.

Some signs of inflammation are weight gain and joint pain. In 2013, I found out I had an autoimmune disease called Hashimotos. I experienced extreme malaise, brain fog, weight gain, joint pain and declining running speed. I did some research and discovered how diet can heal autoimmune conditions (and even depression and other mental conditions). I went on the diet as described above and my life and running transformed. I lost 10 pounds of water weight (inflammation) within a week and started feeling energized again. My running speed returned and ran minutes faster in races compared to the year before. I now can consume most of those foods except for dairy and gluten.

If you are experiencing joint achiness or feel like you lost energy or are experiencing other clues that your body is not functioning optimally I suggest eliminating the 7 foods described above. Contrary to common belief, I do not believe joint achiness is related to aging. Science has revealed joint achiness and weight gain could be caused by any of those 7 foods. To reach your highest potential as a runner, I suggest eliminating those 7 foods for 3 weeks and see how much faster you may be and how much more energized you may feel.

Good luck! Please feel free to reach out with questions.

Nicole Murray (formerly Nicole Hunt)

Journey Soul Running: Science Based Holistic Coaching
~Working Together we can turn your Dream into Reality~

*Image from Google search Images

Unlike New Years resolutions which dissolve over time, following a few simple rules will greatly increase your chances of running injury-free in 2017. Understanding why runners get injured, setting realistic running goals, listening to your body, and doing the work it takes to be a runner will result in a successful year.

Why Runners Get Injured

Sixty million people ran for exercise in 20151 Running is a simple, effective means of achieving fitness which is accessible for very little financial investment. Running injuries, however, can be frustrating and expensive to treat. Nearly 80% of runners sustain at least one overuse running injury per year.2 Other than the occasional trip, slip, or fall, the repetitive dynamic forces generated and sustained during running often result in lower extremity injury. Among the twenty common running injuries, 70% to 80% of these injuries occurring from the knee to the foot.3 The most common running injuries include patellar tendinitis, meniscus tears, iliotibial band syndrome, patella femoral pain, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, hamstring strain, stress fractures, and ankle sprain. The underlying cause of running injuries, however, is functional weakness of the hips and core which causes excessive motion in one or more planes of motion.

Three different planes of motion act on the hips and pelvis while running: Forward/backward motion (sagittal), side-to-side motion (frontal), and rotational motion (transverse). Stabilization of motion in these three planes through targeted strengthening exercises will allow you to run more efficiently while greatly reducing your risk of running-related overuse injuries. A bi-weekly strengthening program must include activation exercises (finding and feeling the muscle working), strengthening exercises (fatiguing the muscle), and dynamic functional exercises (working the muscle in positions which simulate the demands of running). In addition to the gluts, core, abdominals, and lower leg musculature, the upper body and trunk must be strong and mobile.

Weekly mileage increases must be incremental. The age-old 10% mileage increase per week rule is a safe and effective guideline. A gradual increase in your weekly mileage will allow for adequate recovery between runs, allow for muscle strength gains to be realized, and reduce connective tissue (tendons, ligaments, fascia) overload. Remember, rest days are as important as high mileage days. Allow your body to rest, sleep, recover, and be ready to go following your rest day(s).
Setting Realistic Running Goals

Motivation and mental fortitude is crucial to achieving training and racing goals. Physical training and a realistic understanding of your physical capacity will allow you to achieve success without injury. Seek the advice of training partners, experienced runners, and coaches to help set realistic racing goals. Once your 2017 running goals are established, create a training plan which includes terrain, elevation, distance, and temperature components similar to those expected in your upcoming races. Test your body and mind under these circumstances to confirm your fitness for your target race(s).
Listen to Your Body

Because each of the 60 million runners who ran in 2015 are unique individuals, flexibility must be built into our training routines. Listen to your body when you are tired (How’s my stress level? When was my last total rest day?). Listen to your body when you feel good (What did you eat yesterday? How many hours did you sleep last night?). Listen to your aches and pains (Where do I hurt? Does slowing down my pace help?) Does increasing my cadence help? When did I last strength train? Do I need to see a professional so I don’t get sidelined?). Running through exertional pain is very different than running through injury pain. Listen to your body and get advice to learn the difference.
Doing the Work

Running alone will not prevent running injuries. Less than ideal running biomechanics combined with repetitive motion associated with high mileage can stress muscle, connective tissue, and joints to the point of failure. Build up running durability through cross training, strength training, and adequate recovery. Have your running mechanics evaluated with a 2D video running analysis to document and visualize your biomechanics. Target your strength training to your individual needs rather than following a cookie-cutter program found online. Failure to do the work will greatly increase your risk of a running overuse injury.
Sapphire Physical Therapy is here to help you reach your 2017 running goals. Call us or email your questions and Happy New Year!

John Fiore, PT
Sapphire Physical Therapy

Can you run a PB even as an experienced masters runner at age 40 or 50 or even 60? The answer is yes! As the ageless Ed Whitlock and Meg Keflezighi have proved age is just a number. Ed recently broke 4 hours in the marathon at age 85 and Meb ran 2:12 to make the 2016 Olympic team at age 41.

Through my personal experience as a national competitive masters runner, researching the latest science and helping numerous masters runners achieve PB’s, I have discovered 5 strategies that can skyrocket your fitness as a masters runner.

1. Run Faster By Running on Hills. Run hills at a minimum of once every 10 days and run a variety of grades (4 to 12%+). Run a variety of hill workouts such as short 15 sec hill sprints, 10 x 1 min hills @3k effort and 40-60 min hill @ HM effort.

2. Incorporate Circuit Training. Combine this with hills and maximum strength/plyometrics for 6 weeks 2+ x year. A well designed plan which includes circuit training can boost fitness by naturally elevating testosterone, human growth hormone levels and running economy.

3. Focus on a Plant Based Diet. You can do this by limiting added sugar and avoid dairy and gluten. Sugar, dairy and gluten have been shown to cause inflammation which can result in increased recovery time needed between harder workouts, water weight gain and more frequent colds and infections. Plant based diets build muscle and are rich in antioxidants which reduces inflammation thus allowing the runner to recover faster between hard efforts.

4. Run Your Easy Days Easy. Do this by objectively wearing a heart rate monitor running 70% or less of maximum heart rate (MHR) or run 2:45+ min slower per mile than 5k training pace. A runner becomes faster on their easy running days so running an easy jog the day after a hard workout is crucial for speed optimization and injury prevention.

5. Believe and Visualize. Every faster running workout visualize yourself achieving your goal and feel that ecstatic feeling of accomplishing your goal. Capture that elated and confident feeling. Replay that focused awareness and unyielding determination throughout your training and most importantly believe.

Using the 5 strategies above you have the tools to combat the effects of aging, blast past your competitors and even run a PB as a masters runner!

Nicole Murray
Science Based Holistic Coaching
~By working together, we can turn your dream into reality~

*Image(s) from Google search images

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of participating in Sapphire Physical Therapy’s new 2D Real Time Video Running Gait Analysis and I’m excited to share my experience.  Sapphire has been a major partner in the Montana running community for many years and they continue to show their commitment to keeping us healthy and running strong as the only PT clinic in the Northwest to have an on-site 2D Running Gait Analysis System.”
thumbnail_sapphire-p-t-running-analysis-32-Mike Foote, RE employee & The North Face ultra runner

What does a 2D Running Gait Analysis involve?
For all the amazing and detailed data you can collect from this analysis, the process is actually quite simple.  The Sapphire staff just asked that I wear running clothes for the appointment.  Upon arrival we discussed my running history and any current or chronic injuries I struggle with.  I then hopped on the treadmill and ran while the surface was flat for a couple of minutes and also on an incline for a couple more minutes.  Meanwhile they filmed me from two different angles with cameras which picked up on the LED lights they had taped to my body. These highlighted the actual angles of my joints as I ran in each phase of my running stride.   After finishing, we then watched the video together in slow motion. Frame by frame we were able to see objectively what occurs in my running form.

What I learned about my form:
I went into the analysis with no current injuries, though, I have struggled with tendonitis in my right achilles and left posterior tibialis tendons. Through this clear data we found that my hip drops slightly on my left side, which led to an asymmetry that stressed my lower leg.  We also found that my ankle dorsiflexes a little beyond the average angle. This too can cause unneeded stress on my lower legs and also cause me to be less efficient in my form. If this doesn’t lead directly to injury, it will indeed keep me from reaching the full potential of my competitive goals.  We then discussed certain exercises I can do to address these issues.

Take Aways:
Sapphire’s 2D Running Gait Analysis System is a fantastic tool in learning about what may be causing an injury or even exposing certain deficiencies which coulthumbnail_sapphire-p-t-running-analysis-16d lead to injury down the road. Though the amount of data produced in the analysis can feel overwhelming, the staff at Sapphire PT do a great job of breaking the information down into bite sized pieces for you to understand.  They also then highlight a few actionable things you can do to address deficiencies and strengthen certain areas.

Who can benefit from this running analysis?
This is for all runners who have either been injured, are struggling from an injury or would like to avoid injury.  Yep, that’s pretty much everyone!  So, if you would like to utilize this great tool to improve your running and ward off injury, I highly recommend you schedule an appointment with Sapphire PT today.  Check out their website explaining their Running Analysis and give them a call at 406-549-5283 to schedule an appointment.

My favorite piece of music is the one we hear all the time if we are quiet” said John Cage, American music composer. Have you tried meditation? Since I started meditating in 2014, my life and has transformed. I have become morecalm, happier, confident, focused and faster.

There are over 4,100 scientific studies on Pubmed indicating the efficacy of meditation. Meditation can help you become more focused, live longer, look 12 years younger, reduce inflammation, increase happiness, decrease stress, reduce pain and anxiety, improve sleep, increase optimism and so much more. Here is a link to 76 benefits of meditation.

According to neuroscientist Richard Tanzi and co-author of Super Brain, “When people frown and tell me that they don’t believe in meditation my response is they must not believe in the brain, because four decades of brain research have proven that the brain is transformed by meditation and now newer evidence suggests that genetic output also improves with meditation. That is the right genes get switched on and the wrong ones off.”

In my opinion, to become your fastest running self a daily practice of meditation is as important as choosing a healthy diet. A runner can run adequate on an unhealthy diet but to flourish a runner chooses to eat healthy. In the same way a runner can run adequate without meditating but to gain that extra edge and transform your running meditation is essential.

In a future Runners Edge article I will describe how to meditate and provide a few suggestions for guided meditations.

Nicole Hunt
Science Based Holistic Coaching

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