Can Physical Therapy Get Rid of My Headache?


I get this inquiry a lot and, yes, physical therapy can help! It all depends on the cause. Headaches caused by restrictions in the muscles, nerves and fascia can respond well to physical therapy. For example, when muscles of the jaw, neck and upper back are tight or weak, they can pinch nerves and blood vessels resulting in headache.

For treatment, I use a combination of Dry Needling (IDN), Active Release Technique (ART), and functional exercise. Check out this full article on the CoachAmyPT blog to read more about the effectiveness and qualifications of these treatments for severe or “pop up” headaches.

Active Release Technique (ART) and Dry Needling Can Boost Recovery


Nothing is more frustrating than becoming injured during training. Even with a sound training plan, injury can occur and completely derail race plans and goals. Physical therapy early in the injury process with a practitioner that specializes in endurance sports, can keep athletes training and racing with minimal to no disruption in training.

Lauren, a CoachAmyPT patient, shares her story of how Active Release Technique and Dry Needling helped her recover from injury within weeks of race day, only to compete and PR for that course! Click the full article link below from the CoachAmyPT blog to hear Lauren’s story, and discover the powerful results from these state of the art treatments.

Take Care When Riding Upright on the Trainer

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Who’s guilty of warming up on the bike trainer or stationary bike sitting upright, hands free, scrolling through social media?  Me!  Riding upright in the saddle with unintended excessive lordosis (arch) in the lower back could cause back pain and injury (see photos above). 

Mike Irwin, owner of BicycleFit Rx recently weighed in on this subject: "For triathletes, the nose of the saddle is purposefully adjusted in more of a downward tilt for proper fit, so sitting upright will tend to cause even more anterior pelvic tilt.  Once the athlete starts pedaling in the upright position and the hips are moving, it forces the back into more extension (tilt)." 

So, friends, be aware of proper posture when riding upright and use a strong core to stabilize and prevent back injury.  Otherwise set that phone down and lean forward, hands or forearms on the bars!  

Article Co-contributor:  Mike Irwin

Coach Amy Across the Globe


I was pleased as punch to get a message from Michael in Germany telling me about his 5K training, “I’m now in the third week of your training plan and getting better and feel a bit stronger.  I just wanna say thanks, and I’ll keep going forward to reach my personal goals.”  

Hearing athlete’s stories about their training and race adventures is one of my favorite parts of coaching.  I was thrilled to learn that not only is Michael finding my training program helpful, but due to Garmin Coach's incredible reach I can help someone I've never even met and who lives so far away.  

“Congratulations, Michael, on reaching your third week of training!  I'm so pleased to hear that you're getting better and feeling stronger.  I know you can reach those goals.  Please keep me posted on your progress!”

It puts me over the moon with joy to hear how all of my Garmin Coach, CoachAmyPT patients, and Roadrunners of Kansas City athletes are doing.  Receiving updates not only helps keep me in the loop, it also creates a community of people when we share your stories in an effort to inspire and motivate each other.  Thank you, Michael, for reminding me how big of an impact a simple message can have. 

Share your update by Posting a Review on our Facebook Page, or email Coach Amy by clicking the envelope icon below ( Keep 'em coming, people!

Don't Run on a Balance Beam


Ever have muddy, bruised or bloody shins or ankles after a run? This can happen with a crossover running gait. Not only does it leave unwanted scuffs on your ankle, it is inefficient and can cause IT band pain, knee pain or shin splints. 

Most runners don’t even realize they have faulty gait patterns. In this article from the CoachAmyPT blog Coach Amy explains (and demonstrates) what the crossover gait looks like, and why runners lose power and increase their chances of injury with this run gait.

Like us on Facebook and Instagram for more training tips and trends.

Get More From a Strong Core


In today’s fitness focused world, we’ve all heard a lot of buzz around “strengthening the core.”  Wondering what all of the hype is about?  Focusing on improving core strength on cross training days can improve athletic performance and prevent injury during training.

With a strong core our movements are more efficient, and we gain more power and function from the upper and lower extremities.  With a weak core, we are like a “rag doll”; our arms and legs move less efficiently, and energy is wasted. For endurance athletes, a strong core translates to more power in the arm and leg swing while running, the pull and kick while swimming, and the push and pull while cycling. 

Contrary to popular belief, having a strong core doesn’t just mean having strong abs.  Our core encompasses the entire cylindrical column of muscles ranging from above our shoulders to below our hips.  Athletes have to be very strategic about how they engage these muscles and make them stronger.

CoachAmyPT offers core strengthening classes designed for both beginners and advanced athletes. Phoenix Core classes focus on slow, controlled, quality movement patterns.  While Phoenix Rising classes incorporate higher intensity moves to train runners to be more explosive and push off the ground with more power. 

Choose the class that’s right for you, and join us for the first Spring session beginning the week of March 4th.  Hurry, space is limited.

Like us on Facebook and Instagram for more training tips and trends.

To Treadmill or Not to Treadmill?

Ice, deep snow and sub zero temperatures are driving many endurance athletes indoors to the treadmill this winter. Unfortunately, running a long distance on the treadmill may do more harm than good especially if used as a short term substitute to overground running without adjusting for the fact that it is a different surface. In this article, Coach Amy explains why runners should exercise caution when choosing the treadmill and shares tips on how to treadmill safely.


The way our joints and muscles respond to running is different on different surfaces such as grass, mud, rock, sand or rubber track. There is not yet a consensus among researchers as to the differences between overground running v.s. treadmill running, however many sound studies show a significant difference in the forces or load on certain muscles and joints when comparing the two surfaces. Riley, P. “A Kinematics and Kinetic Comparison of Overground and Treadmill Running.” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2008.

Because of these differences, runners could sustain injury if they try to run too long or far on a surface that is new to them. I see injuries in the clinic every winter when non-treadmill runners jump on a treadmill to “get in a long run.”

So what is an endurance athlete in the winter supposed to do when a 20-mile long run is on the training schedule but it’s icy and -10 degrees outside? I recommend splitting up the mileage (or time) amongst several different options. For example, alternate running 30 min on the treadmill, 30 min. on an indoor track and 30 min of elliptical. Repeat if necessary. This will break up the monotony and give the chance for muscles to adapt and recover from the varying loads/stresses of the different surfaces.

To prevent injury from running on a treadmill follow these tips from Coach Amy:

  • Keep at least 1-2% incline to account for lack of wind

  • Vary the incline throughout the run to spread out the load to a variety of muscles as you would with the natural grade of a road run.

  • Start with a short distance/time e.g. (20-30 min)

  • Vary the speed of the belt throughout the run rather than staying at the same speed (helps prevent changes to gait with fatigue)

  • Make sure the belt is in good working order (stiff, not loose)

Need for Speed

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Improve race pace, feel stronger crossing the finish line, and prevent injury with your run buddies! RRKC’s 6-week Winter speed work session starts on February, 12th.  Sessions are held at various outdoor parks on Tuesday evenings at 6:00 p.m.  New location this round at the paved trails at Somerset and Nall! Space is limited, so act fast to run fast!

NOTICE: Future Announcements re. Last Minute Run Changes


Just a reminder that all updates and announcements regarding last minute changes (less than 24 hours) to location, start times, cancellations ETC will be no longer be posted on the blog or sent in email. You can check on the status of runs in several places:

RRKC Facebook Page

RRKC Website:

  • Events page for details

  • Announcement bar at the top of the site for brief last minute updates

RRKC January 12th Group Run Cancelled

With much deliberation and regret , we are cancelling our group run. Driving conditions for volunteers and runners are too dangerous and not worth the risk. Running in a few inches of snow can be safe and fun as long as you have trail shoes or yak trax to help provide traction. Consider running a short period of time (vs miles) and turn back if you encounter ice. Our swap meet will move to next week’s group run. See you all then!

How do you make 2019 your BEST endurance performance ever?


Coach Amy says, “It’s all about training smart. One of the chief contributors is when athletes assume that simply running, biking or swimming means they are strong enough to do so. It’s a hallmark mistake. Endurance sports require consistency and volume but in order to do it efficiently and avoid injury, strengthening specifically for sport is a must.”

CoachAmyPT offers sport specific strengthening classes for endurance athletes throughout the year. Staring in 2019: Phoenix Rising on Monday nights and Phoenix Core on Thursday nights.

Registration for Rising opens Dec. 7 and registration for Core opens on Dec. 10th by clicking on the links above. Spots are limited, first come first serve!

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Dress UP and Embrace the Cold!


It’s freaking cold out! It’s tempting to run indoors on the treadmill this time of year, but Coach Amy recommends running outdoors unless conditions are icy or the “feels like” effective temperature is below 0 degrees taking into account the windchill. Dressing properly makes running outdoors in the winter safer and more tolerable. The key is to layer. Here are some recommendations:

  • fleece lined running tights (or layer two pair)

  • wool socks

  • Hot Hands packets

  • run vest over long sleeve top and wind and water resistant jacket

  • fleece headband or cap 

  • neck gaiter

  • gloves with mitten cover that is wind and water resistant 

  • balaclava 

The first mile in really cold temps is tough, but if you are dressed properly you will feel much better once you’ve warmed up. Embrace the cold people. You CAN do it!

Run Lit Reminder!


"We runners try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup…I planned out our whole run: First, we'll decorate ourselves in Christmas lights, then we’ll run around the plaza for 3 miles, and then we'll drink hot cocoa (maybe with schnapps), and then we'll eat a dinner, and then to finish, we'll sing Christmas carols."

We can’t wait to celebrate the holidays running around the plaza with our run buddies Friday night. Details about Run Lit HERE. Right now the weather looks great - about 41 degrees! Remember your lights! You can find short strings of battery operated lights at hardware stores.

Run THIS Saturday

Coach A at Silver Falls Trail Marathon Finish.

Coach A at Silver Falls Trail Marathon Finish.

Heads up peeps! We made a change to this week’s map, so if you’ve already downloaded it, please go to Events and get the new one. Coach A is taking a break from group runs for a few weeks to recoup and spend some time with family. You are in excellent hands with Ms. JJ. See you all at Run Lit on the 30th. Be there or be…SQUARE!

What to do in November and December?


Coach Amy says, “Recover, recover, recover from your fall races over the next few weeks! Respect the running gods and allow yourself to heal from microtearing, a knocked out immune system and nasty free radicals that are circulating from your race. Not taking the time to adequately recover can lead to an injury that sneaks up on you later. Active recovery is best as opposed to laying on the couch eating pie.” Dry needling and ART can be helpful for sports performance and recovery. Spots are limited. Go here to schedule an appointment:

December is the time to gradually build your volume back so you are ready in January to start Spring training. Yes, you heard that right! To help you recover and build back up, join your friends on Saturdays in November and December. Registration for Saturday group runs in Nov. and Dec. is now OPEN.

Coach Amy has only a few spots remaining for personalized training plans Spring 2019. If you are interested, please email her at ASAP to get on the list - first come, first serve. Registration is OPEN. We will close when full. Please note, Coach Amy needs at least 2 weeks heads up to get started on your plan.

And of course, you must NOT miss our Run Lit fun run on Nov. 30th! No registration needed, just bring your lights, your friends and some holiday spirit!