Running Tips and Advice from Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Posted on: April 22, 2013

A Guide to Running Right

By Anthony Tanzi, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Physical Therapist at Northern Westchester Hospital

running tips Westchester Physical TherapistSpring has sprung. Your thoughts are turning toward the outdoors, activity, and exercise. This is the time of year when people begin working out with hopes of dropping a size or three. Jogging is one of the healthiest and fastest ways to get in shape, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. I also think it’s an excellent choice. I’ve competed in Ironman Triathlons and currently hold the Nutmeg State Half-Marathon record. I help athletes of all ages compete in every type of event, from their first 5K to ultra-distance races, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that too many people start training too hard or go too far and end up with an injury. You have to pick a program that suits you, and you have to stick with it.

To help people find the right approach, Northern Westchester Hospital’s Physical Therapy Program will be hosting three free running clinics at their Ambulatory Care Center at Chappaqua Crossing on May 1st, 8th, and 15th. The clinics are geared to novice joggers and longtime runners looking for a competitive edge. I’m pleased to be the instructor for these sessions which will cover topics such as the right shoes, the right training, and how technology can help improve your results. 

Getting clearance from your doctor before you start any exercise program is mandatory, but once you have the okay, the second thing to do is get a pair of running shoes. People often think they can jog in any type of shoe, but that can lead to injuries. Although the barefoot jogging craze has made padding-free running shoes popular, I suggest beginners seek out a shoe that provides a mid-level cushioning. You don’t need a lot of padding, but the minimalist shoes really aren’t suitable for people unaccustomed to the repetitive stress of jogging.

Do you need a shoe with high arch support? After you get out of the shower, take a look at your damp footprint as you stride across the bathroom floor: Is it narrow in the middle or a well-defined footprint? The first indicates a high arch, the second a flat foot and little need for arch support; this information can guide your shoe choice. For clothing, wear athletic gear; though if you’re just starting out don’t feel like you need to invest in expensive, moisture-wicking gear. Women will definitely want a sports bra, though, and men should pick up snug-fitting Lycra undershorts.

Plan to run about three times a week, and start with a distance that challenges you without completely draining your energy. Track your distance and efforts, and then increase it by about 10 percent each week—but no more than that. It may not seem like a lot, but doing too much too soon is how joggers get injured. If you run about 10 miles that first week, add a total of one mile to next week’s tally. Don’t forget to warm up for at least five minutes before you start. Walk at a normal pace, then a brisk one, then break into a slow jog and slowly increase speed until you reach your exercise pace. Cool down for about the same amount of time: You can do a slow jog or walk for this.

You would be wise to consult with a trainer or coach when setting up your jogging program. You can use GPS watches or heart monitors to get a better gauge of your efforts. Technology can be a huge help, but it’s wise to have a coach to help guide you in the proper use, something we’ll cover during the running clinics. I’ll give out a lot of pointers and answer any questions you might have.

Running Clinic
When: Wednesdays May 1st, 8th, or 15th from 6-7:00PM
Where: NWH Ambulatory Care Center
at Chappaqua Crossing (formerly Reader’s Digest)
480 Bedford Road
Chappaqua, NY 10514
How to Register: Please call (914) 458-8700 or email
for more information.

The course is FREE of charge but registration is required.

About the Instructor: Anthony Tanzi, PT, DPT, CSCS earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy and his Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science at Sacred Heart University. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Anthony currently helps athletes of all ages compete in 5K’s to IRONMANS. Anthony recently competed in the 70.3 IRONMAN World Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada and IRONMAN Arizona. Additionally, Anthony currently holds the Nutmeg State Half-Marathon course record with a 1:12:38.