Terry Nicola

director of sports medicine rehabilitation


Terry Nicola

Terry Nicola. Photo: Jenny Fontaine/UIC Public Affairs. Click on image to download.

Dr. Terry Nicola, director of sports medicine rehabilitation at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, has been the head medical director for numerous Chicagoland runs, races and marathons over the last several decades.

He has run the Chicago Marathon five times himself, with a best time of 2:35 in 1985 when he came in 106th place, placing him in the elite runners’ category.

Nicola, who coaches distance runners at the elite and beginning level, says he has seen an increase in injuries — even deaths — because competitors are not taking training and conditioning as seriously as they should.

Nicola emphasizes that proper training is an absolute must for participation in any marathon.

“Before the gun goes off, you need to ask yourself whether your training went well and if your doctor has cleared you to run,” Nicola said. “Otherwise, a 26-mile marathon poses a very significant risk for injury.”

Nicola trains and treats UIC student athletes, as well as Chicago-area runners, both at the super-elite level and beginners. His special interests include the nutritional needs of athletes, stress fractures, cross-training, exercising with different injuries and disease states, uses of prolotherapy, running footwear and overuse nerve injuries.  He is associate team physician for the UIC Flames Division I collegiate teams.

Subject areas

  • Sports medicine
  • Marathon training
  • Running injuries
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