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Published on May 24, 2022

RunStrong helps propel runner to 2023 World Champs

Athletes turn to the RunStrong program at LMH Health to help them stay healthy and perform their best. Improving their running performance is one of the benefits, just ask Scott Nelson.

“I have a long history of running injuries, including three major surgeries that took me out of running for over five years,” he said. “Before I joined RunStrong, I had a high frequency of injuries that placed me in an endless cycle where it was difficult to train well, let alone perform well in races.”

Scott Nelson on the podium at the 2022 Multisport Festival

Scott Nelson

Nelson has competed in local races before, including two triathlons, but his passion now lies in an event that many haven’t heard of – the Draft-Legal Sprint Duathlon. Consisting of a 5K run, 20K bike ride and then a 3.3K run, participants are allowed to draft competitors during the bike portion and work together to catch other groups, which is different than other events. He began competing at the Duathlon Nationals in 2017 after just beginning in the sport.

“I enjoy Duathlon because it combines my love of running with cycling, which I picked up later in life as a way to balance the demands of running and previous injuries I’ve experienced. It presents an additional challenge to focus on and balance each but also provides multiple levels of motivation to keep training fresh and mentally engaging. I favor the shorter distances because the quicker training sessions allow me to keep the intensity higher while leaving enough time for a good family balance,” Nelson explained.

After completing a 15-week training program, Nelson took his talent to the 2022 USA Triathlon Multisport National Championships in Irving, TX in April. This year’s Draft-Legal Duathlon field was bigger with more competitors than he’d faced before. After more than an hour of racing with a strong first run and swift bike leg, it came down to the final 75 meters of the second run, where he caught three other competitors and earned a spot on the podium. Nelson placed third in the men’s 40-44 age group, earning a spot with Team USA in the 2023 World Championships.

“I’d never finished better than sixth place in my age group before, so I’ve always had to watch other competitors climb the podium at the awards ceremonies. Competing against the nation’s best in the sport, having a sound technical race and great results is very satisfying,” he said. “Even after a couple of weeks, it’s still pretty surreal that it happened.”

Nelson credits the RunStrong program for providing the foundation to take his training and performance to the next level, helping him earn his way onto Team USA.

“RunStrong classes have given me the knowledge, strength and structure to give my body a solid foundation that allows for more consistent training,” he said. “It’s resulted in a tangible difference that I can feel when I run now, which builds confidence and motivates me to chase even higher goals.”

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Autumn BishopStory by Autumn Bishop

Autumn is the marketing manager and content strategist at LMH Health.