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Anatomy for Runners: Unlocking Your Athletic Potential for Health, Speed, and Injury Prevention Paperback – August 1, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 162 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The biggest challenge running coaches encounter is discovering the balance between maximizing workload while holding off injuries. Jay Dicharry presents years of knowledge and useful practical information in a format that's understandable. I am certain Anatomy for Runners is spot on because Jay has helped several of my athletes both remain healthy as well as get back to championship form.” (Jason Vigilante)

“This is the best resource on running biomechanics and injury prevention. The corrective exercises have become part of my training routine, improved my performance, and reduced my injuries.” (Alan Webb, American record holder in the mile)

“Running is a simple sport, right?  But why does almost everyone get hurt? As Jay discovers in this valuable guide, the reason is an amazingly complex mix of anatomy, strength, forces, vectors, and footwear effects.  Alas, after reading this book and feeling what running really is, you will rediscover and understand its simplicity . . . then you can throw the rest of the library away.” (Dr. Mark Cucuzzella)

About the Author

Jay Dicharry , MPT, SCS, is the Director of the SPEED Clinic and the Motion Analysis Lab at the University of Virginia. Originally from New Orleans, Jay received his Masters of Physical Therapy degree at Louisiana State University Medical Center. He is an instructor in the Sports Medicine program and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency at the University of Virginia. Jay is a Board Certified Sports Clinical Specialist, and a certified coach through both the United States Track and Field Association and the United States Cycling Federation. He is widely published in numerous professional journals on running gait and biomechanics, lectures nationally to clinicians and coaches on care of endurance athletes, conducts research on runners, and consults to individual, USA Track and Field and the US Air Force on athlete development. Jay has a competitive history in swimming, triathlon, cycling, and running events on both the local and national level, and has coached athletes from local standouts to national medalists. His passion is combining his personal, clinical, and research focus to help athletes achieve their full potential.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; 1 edition (August 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1620871599
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620871591
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 6.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jay Dicharry, MPT, SCS

Originally from New Orleans LA, Jay completed the Masters of Physical Therapy degree at Louisiana State University Medical Center and is a Board- Certified Sports Clinical Specialist. Jay built his international reputation as an expert in biomechanical analysis as Director of the SPEED Clinic at the University of Virginia. Through this innovative venture, Jay was able to blend the fields of clinical practice and engineering to better understand and eliminate the cause of overuse injuries in endurance athletes. His unique approach goes outside the traditional model of therapy and aims to correct imbalances before they affect your performance.

Jay literally wrote the book on running gait assessments: he is author of "Anatomy for Runners", writes columns for numerous magazines, and has published over a dozen professional journal articles and three book chapters. Jay has had an active research career, teaches nationally, and consults for numerous footwear companies, the US Air Force, USA Track and Field, and USA Triathlon. His ongoing research focus on footwear and the causative factors driving overuse injury continues to provide him cutting edge knowledge to educate and provide patients with an unmatched level of innovation and success. Having taught in the Sports Medicine program at UVA, he brings a strong bias towards patient education, and continues to teach nationally to elevate the standard of care for Therapists, Physicians, and Coaches working with endurance athletes.

In addition to his clinical distinction, Jay is a certified coach through both the United States Track and Field Association and the United States Cycling Federation, and certified Golf Fitness Instructor through Titleist Performance Institute. He has a competitive history in swimming, triathlon, cycling, and running events on both the local and national level, and has coached athletes from local standouts to national medalists.He is currently director of the REP Biomechanics Lab in Bend, OR. In addition to helping you achieve your passion, he enjoys exploring his new home in the Pacific Northwest with his family on knobbies, skis, boards, and soles.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am 50 years old and have been a lifetime runner who has suffered a variety of running injuries (plantar faciitis, shin splints, posterior tibial tendonitis, piriformis syndrome, IT band syndrome, and most recently a stress fracture of the distal head of my left fibula, just to name a few). This book does a great job of explaining the mechanics of the human body in layman's terms and how to apply that knowledge to improving running gait and efficiency. And, the book as self assessment tests that help you determine deficiencies in your own body mechanics (core stability, flexibility, strength, etc.), and provides a slew of exercises to improve your identified deficiencies.

This is one of two places where the book could be improved. At the end of the self assessment tests there is a chart that lists exercises (by name) to perform to correct the deficiencies, and the next chapter contains those exercises listed first by number, then by name. Why the author did not include the exercise "numbers" in the chart at the end of the self assessment tests is beyond me. I felt like I was having to solve a puzzle in flipping through the exercise chapter looking for each of the exercises recommended for me. I ended up creating a cheat sheet for me that listed the exercises recommended for me by name, then matching them up with the numbers (and page numbers) of the exercises in the following chapter. Had the author included the exercise numbers in the table it would have made the book much easier to use.

The other criticism I have of the book is that the book does not contain an index in the back. How can you write a book like this and not include an index?

Update: I've dropped my rating from 4 to 3 stars. The reason? Frustration!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although it uses some technical language it is concise, to-the-point, interesting, extremely well written and well-organized. Some books and advice for runners are too vague and don't highlight fine points that can make a big difference (ie, what precise steps you can take to make sure you use your glutes and don't arch your back). Others give highly specific advice but often jump too quickly to false conclusions - they fail to point out where their solutions may not apply to all types of runners and all bodies. This book skillfully steers a course between both these mistakes.

For instance, what's the ideal cadence for you? Anatomy for Runners tells you why some people say it's 180 (and briefly why) then goes further to explain why your own ideal cadence depends on both your running goals and your body. The most efficient cadence, the best cadence for a top athlete to win a highly competitive race, and the best cadence for a recreational runner who places top priority on enjoying runs for decades to come may all be quite different. Due to the particulars of your body, your own best cadence may be 10 or 20 higher or lower than other people with the same goal and fitness/speed. He manages to convey this complexity and still do it clearly and concisely. That's a great writer who really knows his stuff.

By contrast I also bought the book "The Running Injury Recovery Program" at the same time as this one and was very disappointed in the "program." It felt like reading the same vague generalizations repeated over and over in a circular fashion and ultimately left you feeling like what you really need is to get an appointment with the author at his clinic.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Packed with information on why injuries happen and how to prevent them. Not just the basics, but in depth explanations on why your muscles, ligaments, and tendons act the way they do. I had been struggling with chronic hamstring strain for a long time. This book was my ticket to recovery.
2 Comments 23 of 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The best science and practicality without any spin. The author's experience and expertise becomes vivid through the way he describes complex biomechanics, properties of tissue healing, and neuromuscular adaptation through simplistic analogies. As a physical therapist with an intense interest in running injury prevention/treatment and improved running efficiency, this book is a must have. I would argue that this book is a must have even for the therapist who doesn't work with runners, but wants to learn how tissues in the body respond to mechanical stress and effective techniques to restore optimal mobility and stability and soft tissue function. The final 2 chapters of the book provide the reader with easy, effective self assessments and corrective exercises. Take home message from the book is that runners and coaches focus too much on the engine, but it's the chasis that breaks down and leads to injury and leaks in performance. Currently using this book as a soft blueprint for establishing a running specific biomechanics assessment program.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author gives good background information behind the mechanics of running, and what underlying deficiencies may be causing you problems while running. However I found the self-assessment tests to be lacking in detail. The pictures accompanying the assessments were not captioned, and so I couldn't tell if the person in the picture was doing it wrong or right. I failed several of the tests indicating that I needed to improve certain areas, but the exercises are not organized in a way that made it easy to know exactly what to do to fix those problems. In fact, it would be difficult to come to this book with a specific problem (such as ITBS) and find the exact recommendation to fix it as the exercises are fairly general and nonspecific. I think the provided background info and basic mobility/strength exercises would provide a good foundation to a beginning runner.
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