About Jay Dicharry

Jay DicharryJay 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  “Running Rewired” + “Anatomy for Runners“, writes columns for numerous magazines, and has published over 35 professional journal articles and book chapters. Jay has had an active research career, teaches nationally, and consults for numerous footwear companies, the US Air Force and USA Track and Field. 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 and Oregon State University-Cascades, 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 enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest with his family on knobbies, skis, boards, and soles.

40 thoughts on “About Jay Dicharry

  1. newbodi.es (@newbodi)

    Jay, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate your book. It should be required reading for anyone even just curious about running, but more broadly for anyone who works out.

    You make complex info accessible, which is so crucial for making it usable.

    Thank you. Love the content here – keep it up!

  2. stewthebassman

    Jay, I bought your book when Matt Flaherty mentioned it during his UltraRunner Podcast interview. I bought it immediately. Didn’t really look hard at it until I couldn’t hardly walk Christmas Eve doing some sprints out on the streets. My SI joint was dying! Fast forward 6 days (and some reading) and I have begun doing the exercises in the back. Surprise! Feeling better already and the season (and my running career) may be salvaged after all! Thank you!

  3. Suz

    I’ve worked my way through the book. Like any good academic work, this is packed with data and information. Not a fast read, nor should it be. Ironically, my running physical therapist is reading your book as well after attending a continuing Ed class with you.

    The descriptions with photos for the exercises are generally clear. Are there or will there be short videos of each exercise demonstrating correct form? This would particularly helpful.

    For example, “core control” shows a nice photo of an attractive abdomen. It doesn’t show hand position to assist the reader in locating the general area. Granted some may just look at the video and pay zero attention to the instruction. That is an issue even with pictures and a mind boggling description.

    I found your book after searching for “contra kicks” that my physical therapist has me doing because I’m recovering from an injury – I want to not be in the 82% anymore.

    Thank you for writing this book. Now it is my turn to use it.

  4. Pingback: Intervention Series: Running Edition | Duke R2P

  5. Dave

    Hi Jay,
    Just want to let you know that we added your blog to our directory: runopedia.com You have loads of great stuff here that we wanted to share with other runners.

      1. Dave

        Hi Jay,
        We would be interested in having your blog as an upcoming featured blog of the week on runopedia.com. If you would like to be featured just let me know and I can send out some brief interview questions. Once we receive the answers we will schedule our post and let you know.
        If you want to communicate with me at dave@runopedia.com that would be great.

  6. Simon

    Hi Jay,
    I am a physical therapist Student from Italy. I realy like your blog.
    At the Moment I am writing my Bachelor Thesis on Foot Strike Patterns and how they Change the GRF and loading rate. I found some blog entry on your side but there was never a link to studies or other literature. I wanted to ask you if you have some litrature (studies, Reviews…) where they examine foot strike pattern and their relationship to the Impact Forces or where they discuss the relation between foot strike pattern and Injurie incidence. . .
    I would be very thankufl if you let hear from you. Simon-egger@live.de

    Sorry for my bad english and best wishes from Austria,

    1. an athlete's body Post author

      Hi Simon –
      thanks for your comment. do some poking around – there are numerous studies that have examined he relationship of foot strike and LR – I have 2 very in-depth blog posts on this here, and much more info in my book – along with a big list of references in there as well. Medline and google scholar are your friend

  7. hoppersportsperformance

    Hi Jay,
    Thanks for all the information you have made public. Ive been listening to a number of podcasts that you have featured on and am looking forward to getting my hands on your books shortly. I have already seen drastic improvements implementing a few things you have mentioned. I do have one specific question/out of left field question. I have femoral anteversion I both legs. Have you had any experience or seen any data/studies with how the mechanics are change and are there any specifics that need to be worked on?
    Thanks Daniel

    1. an athlete's body Post author

      Hi Daniel- I’ve got an entire chapter on this in Running Rewired – so I strongly suggest checking it out as it goes into a ton of detail on something most people over look. The cliffnotes version: you MUST respect your structure. If you are internally rotated then you’ll remain more internally rotated through EVERYTHING you do (not just running). I’ve seen this be a problem in EXTREME situations, but more often than not its ok. You just need to bring more hip external rotation strength to the table. Again, lots of content in Running Rewired to help with that too. Best!

  8. Sarah

    I’ve been a runner for a long time, but I’ve always been pretty random with my strength work as there are conflicting ideas, as you may know. I want to trust in your books as it seems like you’re a good one to listen to for multiple reasons. My question is, what book of yours do you recommend first? If it’s your 2012 published book, is there any new or outdated information you would advise against or is everything still recommended? Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    1. an athlete's body Post author

      Hi Sarah- nothing in either book is outdated. Anatomy for Runners is a bit different audience. If you want to dig deep into the WHY and really understand running, and get the knowledge base to optimize your run and your form get it! If you are looking for some WHY, but really are looking for a framework to implement a strength and power plan to optimize your run —> with exact plans to follow, then go for Running Rewired ( that book is tailored towards the mainstream running audience and should be stop #1 for most runners. Thanks for reading!

  9. Emma Dixon

    Hi Jay,
    I have just read your ‘Running Rewired’ book and was totally captured by it because I have been plagued with niggles recently (previously in the muscles around the knee but more recently hip pain). Your book makes SO much sense and it gives me a lot of hope. Thank you! I have practised the exercises in chapters 5-9 so now I am going to incorporate your master plan into my training and hope this will make me more robust!
    I’ll try and keep this quick (I would love to meet you but I live in the UK!). I sussed from chapter 8 that my alignment is not straight- my feet natually want to turn outwards, I think this is due to shin torsion because I THINK my knees track straight (thus omitting hip torsion). So I have been rewiring my brain to walk, run, cycle (changed my cleat position) and gym with my feet outwards. I have built it up from a walk to a slow jog. Yesterday evening I jogged on a manual / non-motorised / curved treamill for 20 minutes, really focussing on foot position. Everything felt fine during the run, however, later on I noticed quite significant pain in my knees- I think it is cruciate because the pain is elicited by deliberate internal rotation of my knees. I am trying so hard to work it out but I am struggling. Should I stop trying to run with my feet turned out? Or will my body adapt to this new way of running? Or do you think I have got my alignment diagnosis wrong? I appreciate it is hard for you to give me an answer without a proper assessment, any enlightenment would be VERY much appreciated!
    Kind regards,

    1. an athlete's body Post author

      Hi Emma! It’s virtually impossible for me to give you any info about your alignment without assessing you myself. I’d find a physio locally that you trust and have them perform the test on you. Then you’ll know the answer for real! -best!

  10. Amy

    Hi Jay,

    You are my favourite running author by far and your books (Running Rewired and Anatomy for Runners) have really motivated me to become a more balanced runner. I just had a quick question related to some of the exercises in your Running Rewired book if you don’t mind answering. My upper body mobility is poor and I’m working on improving it as it is probably affecting my posture. I suspect that some of my muscles in this region may need lengthening and more than just dynamic mobility work. Would you say that the pec minor stretch in the Running Rewired book is sufficient to address most deficits (purely in terms of tissue length) for upper body mobility as it relates to running specifically, or would it be worthwhile lengthening other areas like the lats and pec major?


    1. an athlete's body Post author

      Hi! Glad you are on a journey to be a better you. Any joint needs passive elements around it to be mobile/supple, and the actively controlled elements to be stable and moving well.
      Pec major is rarely an issue, but yes, to go deeper and be thorough, it’s worth looking at lats, posterior capsule mobility in the shoulder, first rib, second rib, and lateral rib mechanics. These things are ALL fixable, but to adequately assess them you really need someone who knows what to look fir assessing them properly in person. Best bet is to find a physio you trust near you for a screen to see what’s worth your time for results. Best!

      1. Amy

        Thanks so much for your reply! I’ll definitely consider getting an assessment from a PT to find out if any of those other areas are lacking in mobility. While we’re on this topic, I was also wondering if you’d recommend addressing any mobility deficits (purely in terms of tissue length) in the lower body other than the foot and hip flexors? I asked this because I’ve read that excessive lower body flexibility could reduce running economy. Again, really appreciate your response!

  11. Samuel Hodgson

    Just going through this book and already noticing areas I can improve on and can feel the effects after many foot issues and various injuries. I like the way you don’t discount all of the multitude of theories out there, but draw on the best bits, add your own knowledge and create something better. Brilliant! I have a question that I can’t find an answer for in the book. I’ve found my alignment to be “shins in” meaning my knee points forward and my feet face outwards, but what do I do with it? Do I now run with my feet facing outwards and the rest will follow, or do specific exercises? Thanks.

    1. an athlete's body Post author

      Hi- glad you are enjoying it and putting it into practice!
      As far as your question, remember as I described this is a structure issue. There’s nothing wrong with you. You just have a bit of shin twist that’s there, and needs to be respected. No exercise will ‘twist the bone back straight’ and there’s no need to. Just allow your feet to point slightly out in all standing exercise, walking, and running cause that’s you!

      1. Samuel Hodgson

        Thanks for the reply! My knees have always collapsed in when I run. I’ve tried stability shoes and forcing things to work, but now I’m going to run with duck feet and see how it goes. Feels better to do the squats already. Many thanks.

  12. Nancy

    Good morning Jay!

    I recently did your running certification on Medbridge and read your running rewired both excellent! Just had a question about DF ROM. Looks like we need 30 degrees for efficiency in running. The rewired book “self check“ I am able to get the motion both for running and the squat test however I only measure at 20 degrees. I am assuming I should go by the goniometer measurements correct? Also is the anatomy for runners going to give me more info then the rewired book? Any other running course recommendations? Thanks so much for your time!

    1. an athlete's body Post author

      Hi- for an average adult leg length, the toes to walk self squat rest will yield 30 deg, and ties 5cm from wall yields about 37 deg. You should be in the clear – as long as you are keeping your foot and ankle straight and not collapsing your foot when moving your ankle ( as this would over estimate your ankle range). Anatomy for runners is written fir a bit different audience. Less performance info and more “translational research” approach. Goes deeper for sure!
      As far as other courses….. I have some things in the works- stay tuned!

  13. Thomas

    Hi Jay

    I have read both of your books. I have a question here. I am a 400m athlete can I use this book for training to improve my technique or not. Thanks please let me know


    1. an athlete's body Post author

      Hey – yes its directly applicable. things do shift a bit as you begin talking about TRUE sprinting form. When sprinting (actually sprinting for about 60-80 meters) hip flexor strength comes into play since contact leg turn over is faster and elasticity is compromised (and I go into this in detail in my books) but rate of force into the ground is the single most important factor (important to all runners, but its literally the single most important factor with sprinters and midd distance, and VERY critical for the rest of the running world. The plans will solidly improve RFD. best!

  14. mclea22s

    Hi Jay, My name is Shawn and I am a middle distance runner from Saskatchewan Canada. I am writing to ask questions about running mechanics. Please forgive my long winded question, I appreciate everything you do!

    I am having a difficult time understanding how to incorporate the “heel lift” concept and the “heel lift drill” while running across a variety of paces. More specifically, understanding how “heel lift” applies to faster running such as world class 800m speed and milers faster than 4:20. Additionally I am struggling to understand how “heel lift” works together with the “push” drills you use in running rewired (shopping cart drill and pushing off the wall drill)

    – Essentially, How does an athlete “push” AND “pull”?

    Also, In anatomy for runners you mention how hip flexor strength becomes relevant with sprinting and middle distance running (faster than 4:20 pace). I am struggling to understand what is causing the “high knee action” seen in faster middle distance running and sprinting.

    – Is the high knee action a consequence of “pushing” (through hip extension) large forces into the ground and the stretch reflex occurring? (Steve magness/ Tom Tellez)
    – Is the high knee action a consequence of also actively pulling with the hip flexors as well? “thigh switch” or “thigh pop” (Ralph Mann)
    – Some sprinters/Mid D athletes use “thigh switch” and “A skip” drills. If high knee action is a result of putting force into the ground and the stretch reflex occurring, wouldn’t that make these drills useless?
    – If there is a benefit to active pulling from the hip flexor, is this because of the “crossed extensor reflex” where when we flex the right hip by lifting the right leg, we get simultaneous glute contraction on the left side?
    – If active hip flexion is beneficial and relevant for middle distance runners and sprinters, how does “pushing” and/or “heel lift drill” come into the equation?

    Thanks very much for considering my questions. Your “foot varus mobility” work changed my life.

    Shawn McLean

    1. an athlete's body Post author

      Hi Shawn –
      nice to connect, but there are WAY too many questions in here to answer in an email. You are asking great questions, but its about an hour class, not an email response.

      I’ll hit a few things. The purpose of the heel lift drill is to get runners to contact their leg closer to the center of mass (COM) – your foot NEVER lands under your COM (unless you are accelerating) but the vast majority of runners do overstride, and that places inc reliance on the knee joint, which is the #1 source of running injury in virtually every study ever done on running injuries.

      the other aspects you are addressing is about the role of the hip flexors. When you run slower than middle distance pace, you aren’t really running THAT fast (no offense!) in terms of mechanics. The primary mechanism to propel you is about 1/2 muscle work and 1/2 elastic recoil. If you want a deeper dive, review the content I wrote in Anatomy for runners on the fact that muscles are really isometric when running- they produce tension, but its the storage and release of tension in the TENDON that produces the mechanical work to lift you up and push you forward. (and please re-read my slingshot analogies – if you contact too far forward, you increase contact time in front of COM, which impairs the spring mass model, and causes more work from the MUSCLE (which costs more effort) …..thus the other reason for the heel lift cue!

      When running faster, its not like you pass a magic threshold at 4:20 pace, but at that point you are moving fast enough that the elasticity in the quad is not fast enough to bring the hip forward to have the foot in the right place at landing. Thus the need for more muscle work once contact times go down too low to capitalize on elastic recoil. That’s why sprinters NEED to do hip flexor work. there’s no time for elasticity to work – its all muscle.

      The other thing is A skips 0 I bang my head against a wall about 95% of the time runners do A skips because they all do them WRONG. A skops are to be done not to recruit your hip flexors of the knee that’s lifting, but rather to drive DOWN INTO THE GROUND with the stance leg. You are trying to trigger a RAPID recruitment of the hip, knee, and ankle complex (triple extension!) – if doing these correctly, you should bounce UP as you leg drives DOWN – the tendency of the opposite knee to drift up is yes due to throwing tension around in the springs in the crossed extensor reflex (to some extent), but its the effect and not the cause. To say simply, there is ZERO research to show that a runner who gets his knee higher faster runs faster. But there is GREAT research showing that runners who put more force DOWN into the ground cover more distance per stride. And that’s the goal! hope this helps – sending Canada big High 5’s!

      1. mclea22s

        Thanks Jay. High five received! Sorry for asking too many questions. This was extremely helpful.

        Grateful Shawn

  15. JonB

    Jay thanks for both of your great books. In Anatomy for Runners you say that you spend every day in zero-drop minimally cushioned shoes and complete your easy runs in them. You switch to a shoe with 3-5mm heel in the 6-7 ounce range for other runs wanting a shoe with a little “more”. Today many shoes fit the category of a little “more”. Given the advancements in technology many lightweight shoes today have quite a stack height and would offer low proprioception. Can you provide a bit more guidance as to what type of shoe you’re recommending? Thanks!

    1. an athlete's body Post author

      Hi Jon – the answer is not clear cut. in the old days of EVA foams only, it was fairly easy to compare across brands. Now we are in a straight up foam war. Most companies are still figuring out how much foam they need, as PU based foams can use less stack height compared to most other EVA based foams. Same rules apply…..find a generally lower stack height for better proprioception. A little cushion goes a long way, but with how all over the place these new foams feel you really do need to try them out and see for yourself. There are some models I can’t stand, and others I love, and you may have a different opinion based on the type of feel you like.
      Please note, I’m not referring to carbon plated shoes – those are springs that are tuned to the runner and quite a different discussion. And anyone who says they aren’t springs is just trying to avoid a potential lawsuit (as shoes with springs are technically illegal)- they ARE springs! happy shopping!

    2. an athlete's body Post author

      Hi Jon – the answer is not clear cut. in the old days of EVA foams only, it was fairly easy to compare across brands. Now we are in a straight up foam war. Most companies are still figuring out how much foam they need, as PU based foams can use less stack height compared to most other EVA based foams. Same rules apply…..find a generally lower stack height for better proprioception. A little cushion goes a long way, but with how all over the place these new foams feel you really do need to try them out and see for yourself. There are some models I can’t stand, and others I love, and you may have a different opinion based on the type of feel you like.
      Please note, I’m not referring to carbon plated shoes – those are springs that are tuned to the runner and quite a different discussion. And anyone who says they aren’t springs is just trying to avoid a potential lawsuit (as shoes with springs are technically illegal)- they ARE springs! happy shopping!

  16. Thomas O'Sullivan

    Hi Jay,
    I’m using your book, “Running Rewired” but I have a query about the rest periods between exercises & between sets.
    Using the Performance Prep workout as an example, I am assuming that all of the reps for each exercise are performed, before moving on to the next exercise, rather than doing them as a circuit, is that correct?
    There is a reference to a 90 sec rest between each exercise. So looking at the main set in the performance prep workout again, that would be:
    Ex 7 – kettlebell squat Rest 90 sec
    Ex 9 landmine single leg deadlift – right side, set 1, then Rest 90 sec
    Ex 9 landmine single leg deadlift – left side, set 1, then Rest 90 sec
    Ex 9 landmine single leg deadlift – right side, set 2, then Rest 90 sec
    Ex 9 landmine single leg deadlift – left side, set 2, then Rest 90 sec
    Ex 9 landmine single leg deadlift – right side, set 3, then Rest 90 sec
    Ex 9 landmine single leg deadlift – left side, set 3, then Rest 90 sec
    Ex 10 squat, set 1, then Rest 90 sec
    Ex 10 squat, set 2, then Rest 90 sec
    Ex 10 squat, set 3, then Rest 90 sec
    Ex 11 kettlebell swing, set 1, then rest 90 sec
    Etc etc.
    Is that correct?

    Thanks and regards,

    1. an athlete's body Post author

      hi Tom –
      90 sec is a good rest window between sets, but for bilateral stuff. (traditional squats or deadlifts). For single leg strength work, I recommend about 10-15 seconds between SIDES (do right leg, then rest 10-15 sec, then do left leg)…..and you get your 90 sec after BOTH sides are completed for a full set.

  17. Vicki

    Hi Jay!

    Firstly, I have flat feet. Very flat. They’re ‘anatomically’ like this, having always been this way.

    I was just reading an article on RunnersWorld which quotes you regarding insoles for flat feet sometimes being detrimental as the foot cant move about naturally.

    I am about to get some bespoke orthotic insoles made (they’re not cheap!) and thought before I do so, you may have some insights on whether its a wise idea

    I say this as, while my Nike Darts make my feet feel better, (they have a little raised supportive area under the arch) when I wear my rigid removable insoles in my normal shoes- my foot feels pretty horrible after about an hour. My feet feel like they almost have cramp in the middle, down the arch area. Yes they provide support but my feet actually feel worse.

    Granted they’re generic ones from a shop but Im concerned bespoke ones might do the same?

    Or could it be because they are too rigid/ not flexible? If so, maybe I can ask the company who make the bespoke ones how flexible theirs are?

    Any thoughts much appreciated!

    My body took no issue with my flat as a pancake feet till I recently got to 30 and now they’re starting to be a pain in the ….well, foot

    Kind Regards

    1. an athlete's body Post author

      Hi Vicki –
      sorry for delay – I must have overlooked your message. I’m not sure if RW misquoted me……I’ve never said flat feet are detrimental. Ever.
      All feet require maintainance (just like hips, core, shoulders, etc) but I will say flatter feet typically have more motion, and thus require more stability work that the “average foot” but there’s NOTHING wrong with your feet! Said simply, if you have more mobility in your feet, you just need to build up more stability to control it

      With respect to your question – its literally impossible for me to answer without seeing your feet. I’ll offer this though. If you have an excessively high subtler joint axis (your PT checks this by placing your foot in subtler neutral, then seeing if your big toe is on the floor or not. If it IS, you do not NEED an orthotic. If its elevated, and they can push it down VERY easily, you don’t NEEd an orthotic. If they can’t push it down, then yes, you would benefit from an orthotic.)
      In my practice, I’d say less than 10% of the people I’ve seen actually NEED an orthotic. What they need to do is improving their foot stability! If the stuff I just typed on assessment is goblygook – just show it to your local therapist you work with – it will make total sense to them.

      Then there’s the whole issue of HOW they made your orthotic. lots of can of works at play…..hopeing you can find someone locally to help you out!

  18. Emma K

    Hi Jay,

    I’ve read both your books and I have the Mobo Board too now. Great stuff – it’s helped me so much in making me a better runner. I am actually thinking about starting Canicross – in case you hadn’t heard of it, it’s a sport where the runner is attached to the dog with a specially designed harness and pulled like a sled. I was just wondering what you thought about how this would impact the gait of runners. Is it a valid method of supplemental training (if you enjoy it) and could it increase injury risk? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


    1. an athlete's body Post author

      Hi Emma –
      first – do what you love! If you like running with your dog, then do it!
      Will it alter your gait? Sure – just like running with a stroller. But people do it all the time. If your dog runs faster than you, it will increase deceleration demands at the knee, but you can prep for those with good body prep building strong tendons. (which is covered in detail in Running Rewired!) have fun!


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