Knoxville Running on a Budget

Once you complete your first race, that adrenaline kicks in and you feel like you can conquer anything once your feet pass that finish line. Then the goals change and that 5K becomes a 10K, half, or even a full marathon. Next thing you know, you’ve signed up for all the things!

Those races add up $ $ $, but I’d like to let you in on a little secret…

You don’t have to go broke trying to race!

Here are my tips for running on a budget in Knoxville:

  1. Join Knoxville Track Club

Members receive–

2. Volunteer at a Knoxville Track Club event

    Volunteers receive–

  • Race Swag (*when availabile: shirt, towels, cups, and/or other cool gear)
  • Coupon codes
    • Run in the race & Volunteer: $5 coupon
    • Volunteer only: $10 coupon
  • Community service hours
  • Possible cash rewards for large groups/programs 
  • End of year swag & awards based on volunteer hours at the Holiday Party
  • Earn points towards the Road/Trail Grand Prix
    • In order to qualify for the Hal W. Canfield Award in the trail/road Grand Prix, an individual must be a current KTC member and volunteer at least three Knoxville Track Club events.
    • Individuals must also place in any one of the overall or age divisions. The individual with the most points will receive the Hal W. Canfield Award. 
  • CHKM volunteers also have a Volunteer Appreciation Party with food and raffle prizes!

3. Join a team

  • If you create/join a team of 4 or more people, you get an extra $5 discount along with your KTC $5 discount! That’s $10 back in your pocket (for select races)

4. Register for a series of races (road/trail)

  • If you sign up for a trail/road/high mileage series, they offer you a package discount to save you extra money for the multiple events!

5. Register early!

  • You can save yourself extra money just by registering during early bird pricing!

6. Train with a group

  • There is a group run 7 days a week
    • Trail and road options
    • Early morning or evening
    • High and low mileage
    • Track, speed, hill training
  • Check the schedule to find a group run near you!

7. Opt out of the race shirt

  • If your dresser/closet is overflowing with race shirts, start opting out.
  • Most races offer a $5 discount if you choose not to have a race shirt with your registration. 

What would Phil do?

Phil Barber 1955-2019

Not everyone sets out to be the greatest in the world. Some strive to be the greatest for the world without even realizing it. That man was Phil Barber and he was my first real friend in Knoxville. He was the type of person who would free up his time to talk to you, check in with you, and make sure you were doing alright. He went out of his way to make sure everyone knew that they mattered. He wanted everyone to feel welcomed in the Knoxville running community. He attended darn near every single run during the week and tried to talk to every single person he met. He was always so fascinated and inspired by everyone never realizing that he was the one inspiring others. He’d always go out of his way to help folks the moment he became aware of the need. He would literally give you the shirt off his back. One trait that always sticks out to me and used to get on my nerves was his advice on how to get better at running. He didn’t believe in going to gyms or gimmicks. He thought folks should simply run more. He would often message me saying “Are you running tonight? You need to run.” Or “You need to be doing consistent 10-12 mile long runs on weekends. We both should be doing that. You are fully capable of doing it.” Sure I was capable, but I didn’t want to run that much to be honest… I did anyway because…well…Phil. The point is that he wanted to see me get better. He wanted everyone to be better than they once were because that’s what he had done. Here’s a guy who lost everything during the recession, but rather than sit around and complain about it, he set out to improve himself mentally and physically. So he started to run… a lot. That led to 15 marathons in 12 months to be exact and that’s not even including the fun runs he was still running at during the week! The way he treated others is a message we should etch into our memories, so that we could be the Phils everyone needs in their lives: showing compassion and grace, calling friends just to tell them that we care about them, running even when our lives feel out of control, helping others, and playing our music so loud that those around us can’t help but remember us as we pass by. Phil, I love you so much and feel so honored to have had you as my friend.

Why do YOU run??


I wanted to try something new with the posts…

I want to know WHY people run.

For me, I started running because I was out of shape from having a baby and had zero friends when I moved here. I wanted to be healthy and surround myself with great people who happen to run. Now I’m healthy and am friends with great people!

…so why do YOU run?

When the weather is crappy or sunny, what keeps you running?

Why do you keep showing up at the Group runs, gyms, or for long or short runs?

What got you started with running?

What keeps you coming back?

I would love to repost YOUR story with a picture to represent the runners of Knoxville!

Tag us to be featured #865running or email us at!

Photo Credit: Running the Alley

Benefits of a Sports Massage

massageI’ve come to the realization that injuries are preventable if you actually take care of yourself.

The nagging pain in my calves has continued despite foam rolling, cupping, and dry-needling. I’ve been told it was due to my flat feet, misalignment of my hips, not stretching, over running, etc. Whatever the cause of the problem has been, it has caused my calves to over compensate and become insanely tight to the point of stiffness and constriction. The cupping and dry-needling provided temporary relief; however, the problem continued to be an issue until my chiropractor finally suggested that I go and have my legs massaged.

I scheduled a sport massage for my legs with Carter Sport Therapy and was greeted by Dianna Christmas, LMT. Upon arrival, she had me fill out a questionnaire regarding my problem areas, level of pain, and the standard medical questions regarding my health. I was then taken to a semi-private room to change into shorts and walk around the room, so she could determine my level of mobility.

She performed a massage or manipulation that included their Myofascial Integration Technique (MIT), which is a deep, penetrating manipulation designed to restructure the muscle and soft tissue by creating space in the body allowing for an easier and freer range of motion and promoting relief of many chronic painful conditions. After the massage, she had me walk around to see if my flexibility and mobility had improved. My legs actually felt lighter and I could immediately feel the difference in my calf.

She then showed me Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) techniques that would prevent my muscle tightness from reoccurring. These active-assisted stretch techniques were used to increase tissue-joint movement and improve physiological function, increase range of motion in joints, create more fluid movement, and unbind tight and/or taut muscles.

The benefits to massage include, but are not limited to:

  • increased blood flow
  • reduced muscle tension and neurological excitability
  • increased sense of well-being
  • increased muscle compliance resulting in increased range of joint motion
  • decreased passive stiffness
  • decreased active stiffness
  • enhanced performance
  • reduced risk of injury
  • enhanced recovery
  • decreased pain and fatigue

Conclusion: If you want to maintain peak performance and prevent injury, I highly recommend taking care of yourself with regular maintenance. Make it a habit to stretch before and after exercise. Don’t be afraid to have a professional massage those knots and tight muscles, so other muscles won’t have to overcompensate. I also highly recommend finding a practice that specializes in athletic performance, postural issues, injury recovery, injury prevention and flexibility enrichment like what Carter Sport Therapy offers.


Fredericson, M. & Wolf, C. Sports Med (2005) 35: 451.

Nunes, G. S., Bender, P. U., Menezes, F. S., Yamashitafuji, I., Vargas, V. Z., & Wageck, B. (2016). Massage therapy decreases pain and perceived fatigue after long-distance Ironman triathlon: A randomised trial. Journal of Physiotherapy, 62(2), 83-87. doi:10.1016/j.jphys.2016.02.009

Urbaniak, M., Milańczyk, A., Smoter, M., Zarzycki, A., Mroczek, D., & Kawczyński, A. (2015). The effect of deep tissue massage therapy on delayed onset muscle soreness of the lower extremity in karatekas – a preliminary study. Journal of Combat Sports and Martial Arts, 6(1), 7-13. doi:10.5604/20815735.1174225

Weerapong, P., Hume, P.A. & Kolt, G.S. Sports Med (2005) 35: 235.

A.R.T. and Chiropractic Adjustments

chiro dr joh

“As a chiropractor, my goal isn’t just to help you heal from injury. It’s also to help you learn to prevent injury from occurring. I make use of a variety of diagnostic procedures from a multitude of chiropractic and neurologic disciplines, which reveal faulty neurological conditioning, aberrant movement patterns, joint fixations, muscle weaknesses and incorrect muscle recruitment.”

Dr. John, Sport and Wellness Chiropractic center

Dr. John’s chiropractic office stands out from the rest because he includes Active Release Techniques (ART) with his chiropractic adjustments. These pin and stretch massage techniques are protocols for problems in the upper and lower extremity of the body and are considered the standard for soft tissue evaluation and manipulation in the sporting community. This combination of chiropractic and myofascial manipulations can accelerate the healing process for injuries, aid in the prevention of sports-related injuries, and is guaranteed to make anyone faster after just one visit. Dr. John is also an extremity specialist, one of only a few in all of TN. He was recently awarded the accolade of Best Chiropractor by West Knoxville Lifestyle Magazine!

Benefits of chiropractic adjustments complemented by Active Release Techniques:

  • Reduced lower-back pain
  • Increased functional outcomes
  • Reduced frequency of migraines
  • Cost-effective treatment
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Increased flexibility
  • Decrease in pain-medication dependency

Personal Experience

Prior to the visits, I was dependent on migraine medication every other week due to cluster migraines from chronic tension. I also suffered from lower back that would cause my lower back to pop and tighten up when I’d bend over. Another issue I dealt with were ginormous knots in my calves that caused them to always be flexed. The issues negatively impacted my running, cadence, and speed.

After 4 visits of chiropractic adjustments and Active Release Technique massages, I haven’t had any headaches or migraines, my lower-back pain is completely gone, and my calves are slowly loosening up. As far as athletic performance, my flexibility and cadence are improving each week. I was also able to shave 20-seconds from my running pace.

I like how Dr. John doesn’t bash other offices or services. He offers his services and explains the techniques in detail. Because I have sprained both ankles on multiple occasions, he was sure to ask me if I had seen a physical therapist to remedy them. My calf muscles need a deeper Myofascial release that can’t be worked out in one chiropractic-ART session, so he recommended that I see a massage therapist.

As a runner, I want to be able to run without pain and having a provider that offers services and recommendations that will prevent further injury has helped me do just that. If you’re in the market for an ART certified provider and need an adjustment, I highly recommend that you check out Dr. John at Sport and Wellness Chiropractic!


Cherkin, D. C., Deyo, R. A., Battié, M., Street, J., & Barlow, W. (1998). A comparison of physical therapy, chiropractic manipulation, and provision of an educational booklet for the treatment of patients with low back pain. The New England Journal of Medicine, (339), 1021-1029. doi:10.1016/s0965-2299(99)80069-7

Cherkin, D. C., Sherman, K. J., Deyo, R. A., & Shekelle, P. G. (2003). A review of the evidence for the effectiveness, safety, and cost of acupuncture, massage therapy, and spinal manipulation for back pain. Annals of Internal Medicine, 138(11), 898-906. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-138-11-200306030-00011

Cooperstein R., Perle S.M., Gatterman M.I., Lantz C., Schneider M.J. (2001). Chiropractic technique procedures for specific low back conditions: Characterizing the literature. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics,  24  (6), 407-424. Doi:

George J.W., Tunstall A.C., Tepe R.E., Skaggs C.D. (2006). The Effects of Active Release Technique on Hamstring Flexibility: A Pilot Study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 29  (3) , pp. 224-227. Doi:

Gliedt, J. A., & Daniels, C. J. (2014). Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis: A Case Report Utilizing Active Release Techniques. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 13(2), 104-109. doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2014.06.009

Shekelle PG, Adams AH, Chassin MR, Hurwitz EL, Brook RH. Spinal Manipulation for Low-Back Pain. Ann Intern Med. 1992;117:590–598. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-117-7-590

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