Race Day Prep

If you’re running in the Fall Festival 5k or 10k this weekend, or competing in a future race, we’d like to give you some tips on how to optimize your performance on race day!


  • It’s important to build your base and peak training to your race distance about 2 weeks prior to your race. The NSCA then recommends tapering for 7-16 days before your race.1
  • Exercise intensity at proper duration is the key to an effective taper
  • Your workouts should be much less in duration compared to your more recent high volume weeks, but maintaining a high level of intensity.


  • It’s important to plan your hydration leading up to your race.
  • Daily Intake Recommendation:
    • Males: 13 cups or 104 ounces daily
    • Females: 9 cups or 72 ounces daily
    • You would want to drink at least that, if not more the days leading up to your race

Race Day

  • If you know your body and have a good pre race routine, stick with it when it comes to hydration and calorie intake
  • In general, 2-3 hours before race: drink 17-20 ounces water/sport drink
    • 10-20 minutes pre run: 7-10 ounces water/sport drink is a good guideline

Dynamic warm-up

    • Prior to any exercise a dynamic warm up is preferred over static stretching
    • Dynamic warm-ups involve quick stretching with activities such as high knees, butt kicks, carioca, and hip swings. 
    • Newer research no longer shows that dynamic stretching is necessarily better than static stretching that is <60 seconds in duration2-3, but we still prefer dynamic

During Race

  • Attempt to intake about 10 ounces of water/sport drink per 10-20 minutes
  • If race is >45 minutes, make sure to have some carbohydrate supplement (i.e., sport drink, “Goo”, honey stick)
    • With a shorter race like this 5k and 10k, this tip may not apply as much, but is a good rule of thumb for longer races

Post Race

  • Drink up! Replenish!
  • Goal is to drink back any weight you lost
    • If you lost 5 pounds, you should drink at least 80 ounces of fluid within next 2-4 hours

Static stretching

    • Static stretching is very important after your race. I know you’re tired, but make sure to stretch with 30-60 second holds after the race to avoid muscles tightening after.
    • Make sure to get those hamstrings, hip flexors, quads, calves, and mid back stretched out!

We hope these tips help you get the most out of your race day! Happy running!
 – Dr. Peter McMillan, PT, DPT, Doctor of Physical Therapy


  1. Hoffman J. NSCA’s Guide To Program Design. Champaigne, IL: Human Kinetics; 2012. Comments are closed.
  2. Behm, DG, Blazevich AJ, Kay AD, McHugh M. Acute effects of muscle stretching on physical performance, range of motion, and injury incidence in healthy active individuals: a systematic review. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2016;41:1-11.
  3. Kay AD, Blazevich AJ. Effect of acute static stretch on muscle performance: a systematic review. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012; 44(1): 154-164.

6 Exercises for Runners to Help You Stay Strong, Moving Well, and Out of Our Office

As alluded to in the last blog post, a little bit of extra strength or mobility training outside of running itself can go a long way when it comes to running well and preventing injuries. We see a lot of runners and have compiled a helpful list of exercises that address some common impairments.
Mobility – Proper joint mobility and muscle flexibility are important for any runner. If you lack proper mobility in one body part, your body will still execute the command to run, but will be accomplishing the motion at the expense of efficiency and overuse of other body parts. Lack of hip extension and ankle dorsiflexion are two of the biggest mobility deficits in runners.

Hip flexor stretch – Lack of hip extension while running can place excessive stress and strain on your lower back and ankles while making it difficult for your core and glutes to work properly to stabilize you. 



Calf stretch – Tight calves can lead to increased stress around the ankle joint and injuries such as a calf strain, Achilles tendonitis or tendinopathy, shin splints, and ankle joint pain.



If you do not have a hip or ankle mobility issue and have good mobility in general, you would not need to perform these exercises as regularly; only to maintain what you already have. Your time would likely better spent focusing on strengthening. However, if you do lack mobility in one area, be sure to give it some deserved attention. A good goal would be to shoot for stretching 3 times 30 seconds on each side 1-2 times per day if you really want to improve your flexibility.
Strengthening  – A little extra strength training can greatly reduce your risk of injury, improve speed and efficiency, and give you that extra lift when you wouldn’t otherwise have as much gas left in your tank. Four high priority areas to focus on strength include your calves, hips, quads, and core. The following exercises address all these areas in order. A good goal would be to shoot for 3 sets of 15 repetitions 2-3 times per week.

Heel Raises



Single Leg Romanian Deadlift (RDL)


Reverse Slide Lunge


Dead Bug



If you do have any nagging injuries preventing you from your running and training goals, feel free to give our office a call and set up an appointment. We hope these exercises can help you stay running happy and injury free!
Happy Trails!
Dr. Peter McMillan, PT, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy

3 Running Training Tweaks to Reduce Injury and Improve Performance – Fall Festival 2019 Blog Series Part 1

As Physical Therapists, we will always be treating runners with injuries during increased training periods.  As a result, we notice some common trends that tend to increase this risk.  Here’s three running tweaks that we find tend to help our runner’s decrease injuries and improve their overall performance on the roads and trails!

1. Don’t Just Run

Running is a great form of exercise that can lead to improved cardiovascular health and strength. However, when we mix in other forms of exercise, our bodies get to experience different stresses, which will improve overall health and fitness while reducing risk of repetitive stress injuries. Some examples of good cross training activities are biking, swimming, hiking, and strength training. I would especially advocate for runners doing some additional strength training at least twice a week. For one, this allows you to build up muscles needed to achieve proper form and improve performance. Strength training also allows you to create for yourself a kind of savings account that you can tap into on runs where you end up doing a bit more hills than you thought you would, or run a little further, or your body just doesn’t seem to have the juice it normally does. Tapping into this savings account can greatly reduce your risk of injury when your body would otherwise more easily succumb to its weakest link or point of excess stress on a particular day.

2. Assess Your Weekly Training Volume and Intensity

Depending on your running experience and ability, there can be a lot of variance in what your weekly training schedule looks like. Your running schedule should align with your goals, whether they are to run farther, faster, more hills, trails, etc. Your training patterns should incorporate the features you want to improve upon. If you have a big trail run with lots of elevation changes on your race schedule, training exclusively on flat pavement or track would be a sub-optimal strategy. It is important to remember that many running injuries occur from doing too much too soon. You want to increase your volume of mileage, speedwork, or hills all at an appropriate progression. If you are new to the sport, following a specific training program targeted to your abilities may be a good idea to keep you on track. If you are a more experienced runner and manage your own training habits, scheduling out your runs in advance is a good way to hold yourself accountable, make appropriate goals, and chart progress.

3. Optimize Your Running Mechanics

There are many variables that go into the biomechanics of running and what makes for good form. Often times these variables need to be assessed on an individual level considering your body type, running experience, and injury history, however, there are some general tips to consider.

    • An increased cadence (how many steps you take per minute) can often improve efficiency and decrease joint stress. Around 180 steps per minute has been the benchmark for what is ideal, but this may vary slightly based on your speed and height. If you count your steps with a watch (count how many times your right foot hits the ground in 30s and multiply by 4) and you find your cadence is less than 160 steps per minute, consider trying to increase your cadence by around 10% initially.
    • Try to have your foot strike landing relatively underneath your body. This can help prevent overstriding which can lead to decreased performance and increased injury risk.
    • Make sure you are running and pushing yourself forward rather than up and down. Too much bounce in your stride makes for an inefficient gait.
    • Maintain an upright torso without excessive arch in your lower back or slouching through your upper back. 

We hope you find these three tips helpful to improving your overall running and future training. If you are suffering from a running related injury and would like help with incorporating an individualized strengthening program and assessing your running mechanics, feel free to give our office a call at 541.752.0545 to set up an appointment.
Happy Trails!
Dr. Peter McMillan, PT, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy

Dr. Amanda Jordan, PT, DPT, Doctor of Physical Therapy

CSSPT _Hoffman 4062Where did you go to school? Pacific University for Undergrad. Long Island University for DPT

What is your hometown? Hillsboro, OR
Tell us about your family! Amazing parents that just recently started enjoying the retired life last year. One older sister and my crazy nephew. He is growing like a weed and smart as a whip. My incredible husband who is currently going to school for elementary education while working with kids after school and selling Scentsy on the side. I also have a whole cluster of crazy amazing in-laws. I am so grateful for the wonderful support system I have been blessed with.
What are your favorite hobbies or activities? I am very musical at heart spending nearly all of my life singing in choirs or solo and dancing.
Why did you choose PT? Why do you like working at CSSPT? I had a dance teacher in high school who was a PT and was amazed at how she was able to combine and share her passions with everyone. It intrigued me how I was able to look at dance and how the body moves, but to also know about how to make it more efficient. I love working at CSSPT because the team is truly inspiring. Always looking for new learning opportunities and sharing their knowledge. I have been able to apply the many approaches and techniques I have learned to truly feel that I have made a difference in someone’s life.
What are your favorite types of patients to treat or areas of interest? I have taken a lot of continuing education in manual therapy, so this has become a passion of mine as it can be applied to any patient. I also have a passion to treat dancers. As a dancer myself, I feel a special connection to treating this type of population and have started taking continuing education in this area as well.
What is your favorite exercise? “The 5-way hip” It attacks every hip muscle to build overall hip strength and stability in a non-weightbearing position.
What’s in your purse right now? Keys, wallet, cell phone, a couple EOS, MK lipstick and gloss, phone charger, CPR mask packet, hair elastic and bobby pins, sunglasses, book (The Fault in Our Stars), some receipts….
What’s playing on your ipod? Right now, actually playing Film scores radio on Pandora (Playing Tchaikovsky 1812 Festival Overture For Orchestra in E Flat Major), but my ipod is loaded with the Divergent series- playing Insurgent when on my commute.
What’s your favorite workout song? Favorite Workout song for the moment would be “Show Me How You Burlesque”. I just gives me this great burst of energy whenever it pops up in my mix, especially when I am running.
What’s your guilty pleasure TV show? Gilmore Girls. Followed by Last Man Standing and and 90’s TGIF shows (Boy Meets World, etc)

Theresa Baker, PTA, Physical Therapy Assistant

theresaWhere did you go to school? Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan for BSEE. Lane Community College for Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)
What is your hometown? East Detroit, Michigan
Tell us about your family! I’ve been married for 24 years to Rob who is an environmental health specialist. My daughter Kristen is graduating from CHS and pursuing a career as a surgical nurse. My son Nick is 21 and is completing pre-requisites for a career in diagnostic imaging. I also have extended family in Tillamook, California, and Michigan.
What are your favorite hobbies or activities? Barre3, hiking, biking, rafting, snorkeling, dancing, and roller skating. I also love gardening, piano, singing, and cooking
Why did you choose PT? Why do you like working at CSSPT? I used to be a manufacturing engineer; now I’m a movement engineer. It suits my personality in a better way because I would rather move than sit. I love to solve problems with people rather than problems with products or processes. I want to help others heal and provide support. I still get to troubleshoot, teach, and support people but now with movement instead of technology!
What are your favorite types of patients to treat or areas of interest?  I love helping people who are comfortable enough to partner with me to find success to meet their goals! I’m interested in all kinds of people that come into the clinic.
What is your favorite exercise? Barre3 and dancing by far and any type of strenuous gardening – I love findings ways to incorporate gardening and Barre exercises into my treatment plans.
What’s in your purse right now? All the necessities but more importantly – the purse itself – I love my Hobo purses – great leather!
What’s playing on your ipod? I love all kinds of music but especially Black Eyed Peas, Maroon 5, Lady Antebellum, Chris Brown. My Detroit list includes Kid Rock, Bob Seger, anything Motown and Anita Baker.
What’s your guilty pleasure TV show? Nashville and Grey’s Anatomy

5 Tips to Decrease your Risk for Whiplash

Auto accidents happen.  We do our best to avoid them and hope it doesn’t happen to us, but sometimes that’s out of our control, unfortunately.  Whiplash is a serious injury that occurs with accidents and can result in a lot of pain.  While you can’t always avoid whiplash, you can improve your set up and posture in your car to at least limit the effects!  Follow our 5 tips to improve your safety:

  1. Buy a car with an excellent rear –crash safety rating. ( check – iihs.org for safety ratings)
  2. Adjust the headrest/restraint – the top should be as high as your ears and no further than 3 inches away from the back of the head, tilt it forward if possible, the closer to the head the better.
    • Ideally, your head should be able to rest on your “head rest” in a comfortable slight chin tucked position
  3. Always wear your seat belt. Do not tailgate.
  4. Sit upright, it you are slouching or leaning to one side the headrest will not support your neck in the case of a crash.
  5. If you have enough reaction time, and hear a car screech behind you or see a crash coming, place your head against the headrest and face forward, this significantly minimizes the effect of the whiplash.

Again, you unfortunately can’t always avoid an accident, but if you follow our tips, you can at least limit your risk for serious injury.  Not only will these tips limit the effects of whiplash, but they will also set you up for better posture and decreased risk for pain during your accident free driving!
Happy, safer driving!
Carrol Esterhuizen, PT, DPT, Doctor of Physical Therapy, MHS, OCS, CPI

Proper Driver Seat Setup – Good Ergonomic Driving Habits

We spend a lot of time driving in our society, and a lot of us don’t necessarily have the best posture while we do it!  This can lead to neck, shoulder, low back pain and even headaches!  We provide you with the tips to properly set up your seat so that you can maintain better posture and pain-free driving!
Never adjust a seat, steering wheel or mirror that would affect your ability to see the road and drive safely.
Seat adjustment

  • Bring the seat at least as high as your hips so that your hips and knee are aligned or the hips are a little higher; not too high so that you have to bend the head down or to the side to see.  Make sure you are able to see the road and instruments.
  • Sit close enough to the foot pedals so that you can depress the foot pedals without coming away from the seat back.
  • Place the seat back at a 100-110 degree angle. This decreases the pressure on your discs in the lower back. Adjust the lumbar support so that you have even back support, you can add a pillow if the car lacks sufficient support.
  • Have the head rest set so that you can rest the back of your head on it with a slight tuck of the chin.  Make sure you still have proper view of the road and your mirrors.
  • Adjust the tilt of the cushion to that your thigh is evenly supported. Circulation can be impeded if too much stress is placed on one area.
  • Adjust the seatbelt to fit you, instead of the seat to accommodate the seatbelt position.
  • Adjust the steering wheel so that it is close enough and low enough to minimize reach. The less the elbows reach, causes less stress on the neck and shoulders.  You should be able to keep your shoulder blades set down and back rather than having to hunch forward.
  • Adjust your rear view mirror, if you need to adjust it down, it is a good cue that you are slouching.
  • Holding onto the steering wheel is important, keep your hands at the 3 and 9 position as opposed to the 10 and 2 o’clock position, keeping the wrists straight when steering the wheel.   This places less strain on the shoulders and allows you to better relax shoulder blades down and back.

Getting in and out of the car

  • Give your body a few minutes after getting out of a car to lift heavy objects out of the trunk.
  • When getting into the car, sit down first and then swing your legs into the cars. To get out, swing the legs out first (like a swivel) and then stand up to decrease lower back strain.

Following these tips will help you be able to drive without feeling like you’re working as hard to have proper posture.  Most importantly, they can help limit any pain you’ve been having or could have with driving!
Happy driving!
Carrol Esterhuizen, PT,  MHS, OCS, CPI, DPT, Doctor of Physical Therapy

5 Tips for Weight Training for Teens

Your teenage years are an excellent time to build your strength!  However, it’s also a time where you’re learning to control a growing body and mind.  Your muscles and growth plates are also still getting stronger.  This means that sometimes you need to focus on controlling your body weight first before adding too much resistance and load.  Check out our five tips for weight training properly as a teen!
1. Check with your teen’s physician before starting them on a weight training program
2. Begin with supervised, no- or low- resistance exercise routine to perfect form and technique
3. Once form is perfected, routines should focus on high repetition/low resistance exercises; heavy weights and explosive lifts should be avoided
4. Because exercise machines are often too large for growing teens, supervised free weight routines are best
5. Training routines should begin with a 10-15 minute warm up, include 2-3 sets of 8-15 exercise repetitions, and end with 10-15 minute cool down/stretching period
Happy strength training!
Laura Hoffman, PT, MSPT, STC, CSCS, TPI CGFI-MP3/FP2


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