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How to Stay Healthy By Strengthening Your Midstance with Coach Chris Johnson, DPT

The midstance phase of a running stride is a crucial element of running form, but many runners are ignoring it. Chris Johnson, DPT is a Seattle-based physical therapist, performance coach, entrepreneur, and multiple time Kona IRONMAN qualifier who shares how midstance affects your running performance and how you can improve it.

Chris Johnson is a multiple-time Kona IRONMAN qualifier, coach, and physical therapist.

Chris Johnson helps runners and triathletes perform better and stay healthy. In 2023, I took a workshop on running injuries led by Chris (and Jay Dicharry, who’s also been on the podcast). Chris’ knowledge about movement, running form, and how to build injury resilience is world class.

The midstance is arguably the most important aspect of your running form. The midstance phase of a stride is when your body weight is being fully supported by one leg.

If you have weaknesses, imbalances, or poor movement patterns, this is the part of the gait cycle that will show it.

Physical Therapist and Coach Chris Johnson on How Runners Can Strengthen their Midstride to Improve their Gait and Performance

Chris is a titan in the running world as a physical therapist and thought leader.

Many runners don’t pay attention to their midstance form. But runners who understand what happens in this part of their stride and work to strengthen the supporting muscles can prevent injury and boost performance from being mindful about midstance technique.

Our conversation today explores how you can apply Chris’ wisdom around midstance to your own running.

In this episode, Chris and I talk about:

  • Midstance importance in running mechanics and injury prevention
  • The impact midstance has on muscles and running form
  • Common problems in midstance technique from knees to hips
  • The gluteus medius muscle, a common problem area for runners
  • Training the gluteus maximus and hip abductors for running mechanics
  • How to train the midstance for stronger running
  • Single leg exercises for runners with injuries
  • “Movement snacks” for runners: simple movements throughout the day to help runners improve midstance

This is an excellent episode for any runner who’s considering how their running form plays into their performance, even beyond midstance mechanics.

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Links & Resources from the Show:

Thank you to 2Before!

We are supported by 2Before, a powerful sports supplement made from New Zealand Blackcurrants designed to increase endurance, manage inflammation, support immunity, and promote adaptation. 2Before helps to boost performance by increasing blood flow, making it more efficient for the body to pump oxygenated nutrient-rich blood into the muscles. 

So, if you want to try to boost your performance and immune system, use code JASON for 30% off 20 packs and multi-serve packs at

Thank you to 2Before for supporting Strength Running!

Thank you MOBO board!

Invented by renowned physical therapist Jay Dicharry, MOBO helps you stabilize your stance with an innovative rocker board that’s set up on two fins. The design effectively forces you to drive your big toe into the board to improve your stability. I was pretty arrogant going into my first session on the MOBO Board. How hard can it be to balance, right? Well, I was humbled pretty quickly!

Even if you’re a good runner, better balance, stability, and proprioception is going to help you have a more powerful stride and prevent more running injuries. You’ll learn how to improve the efficiency of the kinetic chain from your hip to your big toe. Because as Jay likes to say, it’s not just how strong you are, but how well you use that strength.

I was recently at a weekend physical therapy workshop (lol I was the only running coach) and learned how important (and rare) this simple movement is. Save 10% with code STRENGTHRUN10 at checkout at

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