Dr. Mark Cucuzzella highlights better fitness, running method for airmen

Lt. Col. Mark Cucuzella (center) leads a running clinic for Pentagon staff April 26 in Arlington, Va. (Colin Kelly/Staff)

This week in Air Force Times, staff writer Markeshia Ricks outlines Dr. Mark Cucuzzella’s plan to help airmen run faster and stay injury free.

The basics? Slow down, engage the right muscles and practice.

She writes:

Dr. Mark Cucuzzella knows what it’s like to be so injured from running that he was told by doctors to give up the sport.

Instead of hanging up his running shoes, Cucuzzella, 46, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserves, revised his training in a way to avoid his previous injuries, without losing speed.

He’s proof his method works: Cucuzzella’s still running fast and injury-free more than a decade after his doctors told him to stop running. A two-time winner of the Air Force Marathon, he recently completed the Boston Marathon — his 20th — in 2:42.54.

Cucuzzella, a family physician in Harper’s Ferry, W. Va., and the medical director for the Air Force Marathon, wants to share with airmen what he’s learned about running, how to do it without injury and how to enjoy it. After all, the 1.5-mile run accounts for 60 percent of an airman’s physical training test score.

Read the rest of Markeshia’s story here.


Sara Davidson

Sara Davidson is an ultrarunner and contributor to PT365. She's run 7 marathons and 32 ultramarathons -- including her first 100-miler. This fall she is training for the Marine Corps Marathon using our PT365 Run Plan. Reach her at sdavidson@gannett.com .

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