347.433.6789 info@zerenpt.com

 “You will never run again.” I will never forget the first time I heard those words. I was 15 years old and unbeknownst to the healthcare professional I was consulting, running was a much larger part of my identity than they appreciated.

Fortunately, this put me on a journey to better understand my situation and take ownership of it which landed me in physical therapy. At 35, when I was told that I would need to have knee replacements, I completed the Hawaii Ironman World Championships in under 10 hours and moved up over 600 positions on the run clocking a 3:15 marathon. At 42 years old,  I continue to get faster and have been training consistently for nearly two decades while helping countless other athletes take ownership of their situation. 

While I’ll never pretend to have all the answers, I trust in the power of process and communication while trying to best understand the unique needs of every athlete.

My professional existence is centered on redefining the standard of care in working with athletes across the injury to performance spectrum.


  • OwnerZeren PT LLC, Seattle, WA 98109

    • 11/14 – Present

  • Physical Therapist – Olympic Physical Therapy, Bellevue, WA

    • 6/13 – 11/14

  • Owner – Chris Johnson PT PLLC, New York, NY

    • 10/10 – 6/13

  • Triathlon CoachTriLatino Triathlon Organization New York, NY

    • 9/10-10/12

  • Senior Physical Therapist/Research AssistantNicholas Institute of Sports Medicine & Athletic Trauma – Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, NY

    • 9/03-6/10
  • Medical ConsultantNew York Rangers

    • 8/03-8/12

  • Adjunct Instructor – Department of Physical Therapy, New York University, New York, NY

    • 01/07 – 2/13
  • Graduate Sports/Orthopedic FellowshipFirst State Orthopedics. Michael J. Axe, MD. Newark, DE

    • 08/98-01/02.



  • 2020 COVID19 Ironman Canada Cancelled
  • 2019 Kona Ironman World Championships – DNF
  • 2019 Ironman Canada – 9:43 (2nd place AG – 2nd fastest bike & run)
  • 2018 Bike crash | clavicle fracture | no racing
  • 2014 Kona Ironman World Championships – 10:02
  • 2014 Ironman Canada – 9:48 (*Kona Slot)
  • 2013 Kona Ironman World Championships – 9:52:19
  • 2013 Ironman Coeur d’ Alene – 9:35:30 (*Kona Slot)
  • 2012 Ironman St. George
  • 2011 Ironman Louisville – 9:42
  • 2010 Ironman Canada – 10:30
  • 2009 Ironman Tempe – 11:23


  • 2019 Coeur d’ Alene – 4:28 (2nd place AG – 1:20 run off the bike)
  • 2018 Bike crash | clavicle fracture | no racing
  • 2017 Victoria 70.3 – 4:27 (2nd place AG with draft penalty)
  • 2016 Victoria 70.3 – 4:15 (1st Place AG)
  • 2015 Lake Stevens 70.3 – 4:28 (OA Winner)
  • 2015 Victoria 70.3 – 4:26 (1st Place AG)
  • 2014 Ironman Lake Stevens 70.3 – 4:31 (1st Place AG)
  • 2014 Ironman St. George 70.3 – 4:38
  • 2013 70.3 Ironman World Championships – 4:45:06
  • 2013 70.3 Ironman Lake Stevens – 4:32:38
  • 2012 70.3 Poconos Mountains – 4:26:46 (1st Place AG)
  • 2012 70.3 EagleMan – 4:29:24
  • 2011 70.3 San Jan Puerto Rico
  • 2010 70.3 Ironman World Championships (4:28)
  • 2010 70.3 Florida


My philosophy has been shaped by my background as a clinician, researcher, and performance coach in addition to my experiences as a lifelong, multi-sport athlete. During the early part of my athletic career, I sustained various injuries and underwent a handful of surgeries, which ultimately stemmed from poor load management. Consequently, I found myself in physical therapy on numerous occasions. Thankfully, I fell under the care of skilled and caring clinicians. After completing the rehab process, I consistently returned to sport at a higher level relative to my pre-injury status, while feeling mentally stronger. My approach to physical therapy and performance coaching is grounded in working with every client on an individualized basis. I work tirelessly to anticipate and address the needs of my clients while providing evidence grounded solutions. Through effective communication, empathy, accountability, and creating the ideal ecosystem, most folks are able to rebound from injury and overcome pain to reclaim their quality of life and athletic prowess.

Publications & Presentations

University of Virginia Running Medicine Conference March 2020. Keynote Speaker – Demystifying Treadmill Analysis & When Can I Run?

Mountain Land Running Summit, Park City UT Sept 2019. Keynote Presenter – Physical Performance Tests to Assess Readiness to Run & Orthopedic Examination & Its Impact on Resistance Training Prescription

Clinical Care of the Runner, 1st Edition. Assessment, Biomechanical Principles, and Injury Management. Author of Chapter 2 – Training Principles. Editor : Mark Harrast

Fukunaga T, Johnson CD, Nicholas SJ, McHugh MP. Muscle hypotrophy, not inhibition, is responsible for quadriceps weakness during rehabilitation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2019 Feb;27(2):573-579. Epub 2018 Sep 29.

McHugh MP, Nicholas SJ, Lee SJ, Mullaney MJ, Tyler TF, Fukanaga T, Johnson CD. Functional Outcomes after Double Row versus Single Row Repair. Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine 2016 (In Press)

Nicholas SJ, Lee SJ, Mullaney MJ, Tyler TF, Johnson CD, Fukunaga T, McHugh MP. Functional Outcomes after Double Row Versus Single Row Rotator Cuff Repair: A Prospective Randomized Trial. American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting. Orlando FL, July 9-11.

Fukunaga T, Gellert JM, Johnson CD, Nicholas SJ, McHugh MP. To what extent is weakness after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction due to impaired central activation as opposed to peripheral muscle atrophy? A magnetic stimulation study. American Physical Therapy Association, Sports Section. Combined Sections Meeting, Las Vegas, NV, Feb 3-6, 2014.

University of Puget Sound. “Demystifying Treadmill Analysis for Medical & Fitness Professionals  – The Four S’s of Treadmill Analysis.” Invited Speaker, Apr 2016.

McHugh MP, Tallent J, Johnson CD. The Role of Neural Tension in Stretch-Induced Strength Loss. J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Feb 22.

Schachter AK, McHugh MP, Tyler TF, Kremenic IJ, Orishimo KF, Johnson CD, Ben-Avi S, Nicholas SJ. Electromyographic activity of selected scapular stabilizers during glenohumeral internal and external rotation contractions. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2010 Sep; 19(6):884-90.

McHugh MP, Johnson CD, Morrison RH. The role of neural tension in hamstring flexibility. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2012 Apr;22(2):164-9.

Mullaney MJ, Johnson CD, Tyler TF, Banz JA, McHugh MP: Absolute and relative reliability of shoulder range of motion measurements.Physiotherapy Theory and Practice 2010 Jul; 26(5):327-33.

Johnson CD, Morrison RH, McHugh MP. The Role of Neural Tension in Hamstring Flexibility. American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA May 2009.

Tyler TF, Johnson CD, Jenkins WL. Rehabilitation following osteochondral injury to the knee. Orthopedic Knowledge Update: Sports Medicine 4. W. Ben Kibler 2009.

Schachter AK, McHugh MP, Kremenic IJ, Orishimo KF, Tyler TF, Johnson CD, Ben-Avi S, Nicholas SJ. The contribution of the scapular stabilizers to glenohumeral rotation. Eastern Orthopaedic Association 39 th Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada Oct. 2008.

Johnson CD, Mullaney MJ, McHugh MP. Forward shoulder posture and associated posterior capsule tightness. American Physical Therapy Association, Combined Sections Meeting. Boston, MA 2007.

Johnson CD, McHugh MP, Wood T, Kibler WB: Performance demands of professional male tennis players. Br J Sports Med; 40 (8): 696-9; discussion 699, 2006.

Stackhouse SK, Stevens JE, Johnson CD, Snyder-Mackler L, Binder-Macleod SA: Predictability of maximum voluntary isometric knee extension force form submaximal contractions in older adults. Muscle & Nerve Jan; 27(1): 40-5, 2003.

Chmielewski T, Johnson CD, Stackhouse SK, Snyder-Mackler L: Predictability of maximum voluntary contractions of the quadriceps in patients who are ACL deficient. Poster Presentation. American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting. Indianapolis, IN, May 2002.