From Peter and Karen:
Our years of practice in physical and occupational therapy in the areas of movement, neuromuscular rehabilitation, orthopedic injury treatment, in body work, postural alignment, body awareness and motor training for both adults and pediatrics led us down the path of designing what we now refer to as Running Well Seminars®.
It took time to experience the changes in our body but it has been well worth it. We started in 2000 and did our first Running Well Seminar® in 2003.
Before offering the first Running Well Seminar®, we found it took a solid year of working on our running form to really experience the long lasting change. This may be due to the degree of bad habits or alignment and form issues we had developed over the years in our own running. Like most people, we learned through trial and error and tried to interpret the information in running books and literature. The confusing part for us was that joints hurt more than they should, muscles are fatigued and strained more than they should be. We know better, we wouldn’t have our patients perform something over and over that resulted in pain and potential injury so why were we doing it to ourselves in our own running? So….we discovered and designed a better way!
As long as we worked on our running form, each run had some level of success and provided a learning experience. Running was interesting and fun again.
Today, we continue to challenge ourselves in our running. We continue to work on our alignment, our body awareness and form efficiency for fitness and injury free running. We are still running for enjoyment, for overall conditioning, for competition, we are Running Well®, and our goal is to continue to keep running for life.
We want to pass on to you the tools and wisdom we acquired in changing our running form and movement patterns.
Peter & Karen
Peter Szymanski, PT, IOC, CFMT began practicing as a physical therapist in 1984 in the areas of neurorehabilitation and orthopedics. His practice skills in the study of movement and musculoskeletal dysfunction has involved extensive experience and expertise in orthopedic manual physical therapy. Peter has been treating orthopedic injuries related to trauma, sport, and work injuries for more than 21 years. He began distance running in 1978 and has completed over 20 marathons, with a personal best of 3:16. Peter became aware of the benefits of changing his own running form in 2003 after arthroscopic surgery. After years of running Peter had his first videotaped analysis and became “enlightened” to the value of videotaping for the purpose of “seeing reality”. He comments that he wished he had done it when he first began running. Peter has played golf since he was 14 and after years of the sport, had a golf swing video analysis done as well. With the feedback gained from video-taped analysis, Peter’s golf game improved and his running improved, even after 25 years. Running Well drills helped him in conditioning himself back after mitral valve surgery in 2009. Peter is running strong and plans to continue a lifetime of distance running and golf.
Karen Voss, MS, OTR, SIPT, FOC, CHT began practicing as an occupational therapist in 1987 in the specialty areas of pediatrics and neurodevelopment. Her background influenced her training and treatment of clients with orthopedic dysfunction beginning in 2001. Karen ran her first road race, the Cherry Creek Sneak in 1988 and was hooked. She began running events of road and trail without any formal training or specific conditioning and ran her first marathon in 1993. She was determined to run under 4 hours, did it and went for more. Like many, she had a history of previous injuries involving back, neck, shoulder, knee and ankles. Also like many she shrugged off the injuries and kept running unaware of the cumulative impact of those injuries in her body which were amplified in her running. Running events were fun but could also leave her struggling with pain and “out of breath” literally. She wanted running to be comfortable and “efficient”. She wanted to be able to run without feeling like she would “break down”. She began to address her own alignment and running inefficiencies in 2001. Now, after 25 marathons and various ultra distance/multi-events and running into her mid-40’s, Karen runs sub 3:10 marathons with a personal best of 3:07. She continues to run for sport, fitness and leisure and to be competitive in her age group.