Craven Pitstop

Welcome to the Craven SPORT services Performance Pitstop – your hub for evidence-based running support, tips, and injury prevention as you prepare for the Saskatchewan Marathon!


In the months leading up to the Saskatchewan Marathon, physiotherapists at Craven SPORT services will be providing regular segments of information, designed to help you train and run your best. Don’t forget to check back regularly for new content!

Need extra support getting yourself and your body ready for the Saskatchewan Marathon? Whether it’s providing injury management, improving your running technique, or helping you meet new performance goals, the team at Craven SPORT services is here to help. Learn more about in-person and online physiotherapy at Craven SPORT services.


with Craven SPORT services physiotherapist, Kate Thompson!

Did you know that static stretching before running may not be the best way to warm up?

What is a static stretch? Static stretches are exercises which require you to hold positions for extended periods of time with the goal of improving your mobility.

Example of a common static stretch used by runners: Bending your knee and bringing your foot to your buttocks (i.e., quadriceps stretch), and holding it for 30 seconds.

Try something different. Mobility exercises are an important component to a running program, however, HOW and WHEN you do these exercises matters!

Tips to you get started!

KEEP MOVING! As you get ready for your next run, warm your body through different positions without the hold.

  1. Dress to stay warm!
    2. Start with a light 5 minute jog – aim to ‘warm’ your body but avoid getting hot
    3. Pick three of your favourite running drills (see below!) and rotate through each of them for 10-15 minutes before your run or event
    4. As you cool down, go for a walk, have a light snack, and stay hydrated

Refer to the Craven SPORT services youtube channel for running drill ideas and how to’s. Our favourite – Marching A’s!

Reference: Alexander JLN, Barton CJ, Willy RW. Infographic running myth: static stretching reduces injury risk in runners. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2020: 54: 1058-1059.


with Craven SPORT services physiotherapist, Ty Vandersteen!

You’ve probably heard of acronyms like ‘RICE’, ‘PRICE’, or ‘POLICE’ for managing soft-tissue injuries. The latest research encourages we instead focus on ‘PEACE’ and ‘LOVE’!

Before we begin, let’s review a few common misconceptions about soft- tissue injury management:

1.You should always ice it: At one time, ice was believed to be one of the best treatment options after an injury. Recent research has shown that ice can actually delay the healing process.

2. You should use anti-inflammatories to help reduce swelling after an injury: When taken frequently and in high doses, anti-inflammatories can negatively effect the soft tissue healing process.

3. You should always rest and avoid moving an injured body part: Although rest and recovery are key with all soft tissue injuries, we need to continue moving and avoid neglecting injured tissues. Appropriate loading and pain-free movement of an injured tissue is crucial in the early stages of recovery.

What is PEACE and LOVE?
explains how the injury should be managed in the first 48-96 hours:

P: Protect the injured tissue
E: Elevate the injured tissue to promote blood-flow
A: Avoid anti-inflammatories to allow the body’s natural healing process to occur
C: Compress the area to control swelling
E: Educate the client on the injury and outcomes

LOVE explains how to rebuild that soft tissue and return to doing what you love:

L: Load the tissue so that strengthening can occur
O: Optimism – a positive mindset and environment can enhance rehabilitation
V: Vascularization – early cardiovascular exercise can improve blood flow
E: Exercise – appropriate exercise is key for recovery and prevention

Is a new or chronic soft-tissue injury getting in the way of your running performance? Contact Craven SPORT services for support today!

Reference: Dubois, Blaise, and Jean-Francois Esculier. “Soft-tissue injuries simply need PEACE and LOVE” (2020): 72-73



with Craven SPORT services physiotherapist, Megan Lautner!

So what is plantar fasciitis?

The plantar fascia supports the arch of your foot, running like a hammock from your toes to your heel. When someone has plantar fasciitis, it can feel like a sharp stabbing or a dull ache on the bottom/inside part of your heel. you’re most likely to notice this pain when you first step out of bed in the morning, or after extended periods of stillness. You may notice this pain upon standing, walking or running.

How can running contribute to plantar fasciitis?

  1. Increasing your mileage too quickly
  2. Old or inappropriate footwear
  3. Tight or weak calf muscles
  4. Poor biomechanics while running – can be influenced by the
    pelvis, hip, or knee.

How can you prevent plantar fasciitis in your running training?

  1. When increasing your mileage, do not increase more than 10%/week
  2. Ensure you are wearing appropriate running shoes for your foot, and
    ensure they are not worn out! Our friends at Brainsport can help
    you make good footwear decisions to improve your running!
  3. Strengthen and stretch your calf muscles

4. Ensure the muscles at your hip/pelvis and knees are working together to control proper foot placement when running (your physiotherapist can help you get this right!)

If after trying out these tips you’re still experiencing plantar fasciitis, we recommend following up with your a physiotherapist! The team at Craven SPORT services can help you better understand what is causing your unique case of plantar fasciitis, how to manage it, and how to get your running training to the next level!

Reference: Martin RL, Davenport TE, Reischl SF, McPoil TG, Matheson JW, Wukich DK,McDonough CM, Altman RD, Beattie P, Cornwall M, Davis I. Heel pain – plantar fasciitis:revision 2014. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. 2014 Nov; 44(11):A1-33


with Vitality Nutrition’s Registered Dietitian, Courtney Berg!

The right breakfast the morning of a big race might be just as important as your training leading up to the day. Here’s what top runners eat before they run:

1. They prioritize carbs

A pre-race meal that includes adequate carbohydrates in the hours before your run will optimize your energy and liver glycogen stores. While specific carbohydrate recommendations are individualized, you can get started by including at least 2-3 servings of carbohydrates in your pre-race meal. Some examples of a single carb serving include a 3/4 cup of cooked oatmeal, a piece of toast,1/2 bagel, a piece of fruit, 1 cup of blueberries, or a small potato. Depending on the timing of your pre-race meal, you may require a pre-race snack to top off your energy stores!

2.They are mindful of foods that slow down digestion

An optimal pre-race meal is rich in carbohydrates and is moderate in nutrients that slow digestion like protein, fat, and fibre. While protein, fat, and fibre are important nutrients for runners, a pre-race meal that is high in these foods may reduce energy availability and contribute to GI upset during the race. Compliment your meal with protein, be cautious of very high fibre foods (eg. beans, very high fibre toast, some fruits like raspberries, and seeds like chia), and add fat in moderate portions to optimize digestion and energy.

3. They keep it familiar!

When it comes to fueling for race day, make sure to experiment with your pre-race meal beforehand. For instance, you may find that oatmeal sits better in your stomach than toast or a bagel. Training runs are the best times to experiment with different foods to see what works best for you!
Looking for some easy pre-race breakfasts? Check out the graphic below!

If you’re struggling to feel like your food is fueling your passion for running, the Registered Dietitians at Vitality Nutrition are here to help! Their accessible, evidence-based, and performance-focused approach to food and fitness can help you make the most of each run!

Reference: Thomas DT, Erdman KA, Burke LM. Position of the Academy of Nutrition andDietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition andAthletic Performance. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2016 Mar;116(3):501-528. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2015.12.006. Erratum in: J Acad Nutr Diet. 2017 Jan;117(1):146. PMID: 26920240.


Try Improving how you run!

with Craven SPORT services physiotherapist, Kate Thompson!

The way we run can make momumental differences in our speed, comfort, and progress! If you’re experiencing barriers in your running progress, try
considering if ‘how’ you’re running is part of the problem!

Take a moment to reflect on your current running technique:

    What part of your foot is hitting the ground first?
    Where is your foot landing relative to your body?
    How many steps are you taking per minute?
    What muscles do you feel working while you're running?

Each of these factors has the ability to contribute toward hinder our running performance!

Research shows that making contact with the ground directly
underneath of your body may require less energy.

TIP: Contacting the ground with the middle/front part of your foot
instead of your heel will help ensure you’re making contact with the
ground underneath (and not ahead of) your body.

Ever heard of the word ‘cadence’? Cadence is the number of steps
you take per minute. Studies show that increasing your cadence can
help you contact the ground with your mid-forefoot, and as a result,
promote a more efficient run!

TIP: Try counting how many steps you take per minute during the
beginning of a run! Your target cadence should be between 168 – 180

Did you know that increasing the strength of your hip muscles can
improve your running speed?

TIP: Try incorporating glute strengthening exercises such as a ‘gluebridge’
into your training routine!

Don’t forget that changes to your running technique should be made
progressively over time in order to prevent injury. A physiotherapy
or running assessment at Craven SPORT services in Saskatoon can help you plan the safest way to integrate these tips into your routine!


Alexander JLN, Willy RW, Napier C, et al Infographic. Running myth: switching to a non-rearfoot strike reduces injury risk and improves running economy British Journal of Sports Medicine 2021;55:175-176.

Miller, Robert, Thomas G Balshaw, Garry J Massey, Sumiaki Maeo, Marcel B Lanza, Michael Johnston, Sam J Allen, and Jonathan P Folland. “The Muscle Morphology of Elite Sprint Running.” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (2020): Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 01 October 2020. Web.


How to safely progress your running!

with Craven SPORT services physiotherapist, Ty Vandersteen!

Having trouble meeting your running goals?
Have you hit a wall with your training gains?
Are you frequently limited by nagging injuries?
Unsure of how to build your running regiment in preparation for an event

If you answered YES to any of these questions, the guidance of a physiotherapist can help!

Regardless of your skill or competition level, here are some important things to consider before heading out for your next run:


Simply put, volume is how much you are running. It is important to consider both distance and time when calculating your total running volume.

  • For example, Individual A might run a total of 20 km in 150minutes across a given week. In the same week, Individual B runs30 km in 150 minutes. Even though the amount of time spent running is the same, the total distances are different. This means that Individual B has a higher running volume in a given week.


Speed is the pace you are running at. There are several things an individual needs to consider if they want to run faster:

  • Form and running mechanics: Having good running mechanics and form allows you to conserve energy and move more efficiently.
  • Strength and power: In order to move faster you need to be able to accelerate your mass forward. Strength and power are key to becoming more explosive and moving faster. Note that increased strength and power can also help reduce the risk of injury.


Frequency is how many times each week you are running. It is
important to schedule and space your runs in order to allow for
adequate rest and recovery. Nutrition and sleep are key for recovery.
You need to fuel in order to burn fuel!

The environment:

The terrain that you run on plays a key role in how much energy you expend. Don’t forget to account for the terrain you’ll be running on when you consider your total running volume.

  • For example, running hills (up and down) requires more energy than running on flat land. You may need to modify your total volume of running to account for extra environmentally-based energy expenditure.


Intensity is how hard your body is working during a run. Intensity can
be changed by modifying running volume, speed, terrain, and rest time.

  • For example, a runner who is doing interval training can increase their intensity by:
    • Increasing the speed they’re running at
    • Increasing the total volume of their running
    • Decreasing the amount of rest between running intervals
    • Modifying the terrain to increase the demands on the body

Here are a few ways to measure the intensity of your running:

  • Heart Rate (HR): Using HR as a measure of intensity is easy and effective for most of the general population. If you use HR as your measure of intensity, make sure that you monitor it throughout your run so that you can stay within your target zone. This method is accurate and not subject to interpretation unlike the other methods listed below. The downside of this approach is that it requires purchasing a device that can monitor HR during activity.
  • Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE): RPE is a subjective representation of how hard a person is working. RPE is generally measured on a scale of 1-10 or 6-20. Lower numbers represent lower effort, and high numbers represent maximum exertion. RPE can be an easy way to measure intensity for beginners as it does not require any equipment. See the references below for an example of an RPE scale.
  • Talk Test: The talk test is an easy way to gauge how hard you are working by your ability to talk during an activity. If you are able to single or carry a conversation while exercising you are likely working at a moderate intensity. If you are only able to say a few words before needing a breath you are likely working at a high intensity. This is another easy way for beginners to measure how hard they are working as it requires no equipment.

Before going on your next run, we encourage you to reflect on whether or not your training is reflective of your goal! Are you accounting for all the different variables that can affect running performance? For more information on how to modify your training to meet your running goals,
contact the Craven SPORT services team!

Giovanelli, Nicola, et al. “Effects of strength, explosive and plyometric training on energycost of running in ultra-endurance athletes.” European Journal of Sport Science 17.7 (2017):805-813.

Berryman, Nicolas, et al. “Strength training for middle-and long-distance performance: Ameta-analysis. Submission type: Original investigation.” (2017).

Miller, Robert, et al. “The Muscle Morphology of Elite Sprint Running.” Medicine and Sciencein Sports and Exercise (2020).
Taddei, Ulisses T., et al. “Effects of a foot strengthening program on foot muscle morphologyand running mechanics: a proof-of-concept, single-blind randomized controlled trial.”Physical Therapy in Sport 42 (2020): 107-115.

“Measuring Physical Activity Intensity.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centersfor Disease Control and Prevention, 17 Sept. 2020,,not%20sing%20during%20the%20activity.&text=In%20general%2C%20if%20you’re%20doing%20vigorous%2Dintensity%20activity,without%20pausing%20for%20a%20breath.