If you’re looking for a popular and exciting method of exercising and getting fit and healthy, then look no further than running.
Running is an extremely enjoyable and rewarding pastime that can be performed virtually anywhere outdoors, in all kinds of environments. Some people choose to go for a light and brisk jog around the block a couple of times a week, whereas others run several miles virtually every single night.
Whether you’re into your endurance runs, trail running, obstacle races, marathons, or even just cardio on a treadmill, it’s important to understand the importance of running safely and recovering after races and training sessions.
Today we’re going to be looking at running recovery and will be providing several useful tips based upon recovering after a strenuous run, before looking at some of the different running recovery footwear options for you to try. If you’re getting into running and want to learn more about what it takes to recover after a workout, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Take a look, and you’ll see what we mean.
To kick things off, we’re first going to share some tried and tested running tips with you, before we move on to place more of our focus and attention on running recovery, and running recovery footwear. If you want to get more from your runs, be sure to follow the following tips and advice.
We’re talking about running recovery footwear primarily in this article, but before we can look at that, we first need to talk about the importance of the right footwear whilst running. If you want to run safely, effectively, and as comfortably as possible, you need to invest in some good quality running shoes.
Running shoes are designed to support your feet, absorb the shock of each step, protect your joints, and leave you feeling as comfortable as possible when running. When buying running shoes, invest in good quality shoes from trusted manufacturers. Always be sure to try the shoes on before you buy, just to make sure that they’re as comfortable as the advertisement and labelling would have you believe.
Stretch and warm up
Always, always, always, without fail, spend at least 10 minutes before running stretching and warming up.
Warming up will help to increase your core body temperature and get your blood circulating.
Stretching your muscles will increase the elasticity of your muscle fibres, meaning that a pulled or torn muscle when running will be less likely.
If you fail to stretch and warm up, you can almost certainly guarantee that you will sustain some form of injury when running. If you’re lucky, it could be a pulled hamstring.
More seriously could be a torn muscle, which would require surgery.
For the sake of 10 minutes, it’s not worth the risk so always be sure to stretch your muscles and warm up before running.
Allow time to rest
Running can be addictive. Runner’s highs, as they are known, feel great and they do result in us craving them again and again.
A lot of keen runners out there will often run 6, even 7 times per week, which is simply far too much. When you’re running every day, you aren’t giving your body a break or enough time to recover.
This is taxing on your joints, your brain, your muscles, and your central nervous system. No matter how much you may hate “rest days” the truth of the matter is that time off from running can be equally as important as time on with running. Allow yourself at least 2 full days of recovery each week, and be sure to get plenty of sleep.
Listen to your body
Running is a great form of cardiovascular exercise which makes it very beneficial for our health. Running helps us to burn fat, it strengthens the heart, and it reduces your risk of cardiovascular issues later on in life. As beneficial as running is, it is still viewed by the body as a stressor and is therefore physically and mentally taxing.
If you find yourself constantly feeling sore, stiff, tired, or aching, this could be your body’s way of telling you that it needs a break. If you constantly find that there is just one part of your anatomy which is always sore and tender, this could be a warning that you’re at risk of injuring it. Put simply, listen to your body and don’t force yourself to run if you’re feeling beat up.
Ease your way in after a break
If you took the advice listed above and gave yourself some time off from running, you may have been chomping at the bit to get back out there and start covering some miles again.
As frustrating as it is, after a break from running you will need to remember to take the time to ease yourself back in, rather than trying to do too much at once.
Slow down the pace and tempo slightly and don’t try covering the same distances you were covering before your break. If you try to do too much at once, this will come as a shock to the system and you may find yourself struggling with injuries.
Protein isn’t just essential for bodybuilders, it’s just as important for runners.
Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, which is why we need to ensure we get enough into our bodies.
When you run, the reason why your muscles are sore and aching after a run is because you have literally broken down the muscle tissues and fibres and have damaged them.
When running, protein is used as energy once your glycogen stores have been used up.
If protein isn’t available your body will tap into your muscle reserves instead, so you’ll literally be fuelling your runs by burning off your lean muscle tissue.
Protein will prevent muscle catabolism and will assist with recovery after a tough session.
Drink enough fluid
Hydration is absolutely crucial when it comes to running. When we run, we perspire, or sweat, as it is commonly known.
We lose fluids and electrolytes through our sweat, which could cause muscle cramping and dehydration.
Not only that, but we need fluids and electrolytes for countless other natural physiological processes too.
If you don’t drink enough water you’ll quickly become dehydrated when running, which will make you susceptible to injury, it’ll cause muscle fatigue and cramping, and it’ll affect your performance. Be sure to drink plenty of water.
Running recovery tips
Now that you know a little more about what it takes to be a good runner, we need to talk to you about how to recover after your runs.
Running is an incredibly taxing and physically demanding activity. Despite being beneficial for our health and well-being, it can also be detrimental to us if we fail to recover adequately afterwards. Here are several running recovery tips to help get you back to 100% after a run as quickly as possible.
If you thought it was important to be hydrated before a during a run, that’s nothing compared with how important it is to rehydrate after a run.
You see, when you run you sweat, and as we mentioned earlier, when you sweat you lose fluids and electrolytes.
After a run you’ll have lost heaps of fluids and you will be at risk of dehydration. This will again cause muscle cramping, fatigue, stiffness, and a headache, to name but a few.
Replacing lost fluids as soon after a run as possible is absolutely essential, so be sure to drink up. For best results, combine a few electrolytes with your water to speed up the recovery process.
Get some food in you
Have you ever noticed how, once your adrenaline has worn off and your heart rate has died down after exercise, you find yourself feeling incredibly hungry? If so, there’s a reason for that.
We spoke earlier about the importance of listening to your body, and this is yet another prime example of what we meant. Hunger is your body’s way of telling you that it needs food.
We need food to replace the energy and macronutrients and micronutrients we lost and burnt off during our run. For best results, keep meals simple and aim for a complex carbohydrate source, a source of protein, some veggies, and some healthy fats. For example, something along the lines of: baked potato, baked salmon, and spinach.
Yep, not only is it important to stretch before a run, it is equally as important to stretch after a run. This will help you to cool down after a run and it will help you to break down tight knots and muscle fibres. Foam rolling is also very beneficial after a run as this too will help to break up knots in your muscles.
Get enough sleep
One of most important elements of any recovery process is sleep. When our muscles repair themselves, this process takes place primarily when we sleep. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you are thereby significantly reducing the amount of time that your body has to repair itself after a long and strenuous run.
Invest in good quality running recovery footwear
As we mentioned earlier, recovery flipflops and sandals are very popular amongst keen runners.
This footwear isn’t designed to look attractive or stylish, it’s there to help you to recover after a strenuous and physically demanding run.
Running recovery footwear offers comfort and support to your feet, it takes pressure off of your joints, and it helps to absorb the shock when you walk.
If you’re looking to speed up the rate in which you recover after a run, running recovery flip flops and sandals are very beneficial.
The importance of recovery footwear
To kick things off, we’re going to begin by talking to you about the importance of recovery footwear. Every runner out there knows that there is a great deal more to running than simply lacing up your sneakers, heading out, and running until you’re exhausted and driven by that ever-elusive ‘runner’s high’ that we hear so much about.
The unfortunate reality is that, following a strenuous run, you will likely experience a great deal of pain, stiffness, and discomfort, especially in and around your feet. As frustrating as it is, this pain must be addressed properly, rather than being masked by painkilling drugs and medicines, which often provide their own drawbacks.
If you’re dealing with pain in your feet, if you don’t address it, it will only get worse and your future workouts will suffer. This is where recovery footwear factors into the mix. Recovery footwear for runners typically comes in the form of recovery sandals or flip flops.
We’ll talk more about how to find good ones a little later on, but for now, we’re just going to focus on the importance.
Recovery flipflops and sandals are designed specifically for runners, to help them and their feet to recover after long and strenuous runs. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve taken part in track races, obstacle events, long-distance marathons, triathlons, iron man events, or a HIIT workout on your treadmill, when you run, your feet take a lot of punishment.
A lot of you are probably thinking that flip flops and/or sandals are surely not suitable for running, and you’d be right. These flip flops and sandals are designed to help you recover after a run. You therefore slip them on AFTER you’ve completed your run, not before, and certainly not during.
Recovery flip flops and sandals are designed to provide comfort and support to the feet in order to ease pain and discomfort. They also absorb more shock so that walking in them feels like walking on a fluffy and supportive cloud.
How to choose running recovery footwear
Running recovery sandals and flip flops are very beneficial.
As a result, there is a great demand for them.
Whilst this may sound like a good thing, it does mean that some products are cheaper and far less reliable and effective than others.
When choosing the perfect footwear to assist you with your recovery after a run, it’s important to know what to look for.
Here are some handy tips on choosing the best running recovery footwear.
Look for comfort
First and foremost, when your feet are sore, swollen, inflamed, and feel as if they’re on fire after running for miles upon miles, the last thing you’ll want is to slip on some footwear which is uncomfortable and leaves you in a lot of pain.
When choosing running recovery flip flops or sandals, it’s important to find ones which are as comfortable as possible. The second you slip them on, you want to be letting out a sign of relief, rather than a yelp of pain.
Choose the right weight
Different running recovery sandals and flip flops come in different weights and sizes. Whilst we all have our own personal preferences, most people agree that, when it comes to choosing a recovery flip flop or sandal you should opt for light weight but durable footwear as the last thing you want is to be dragging around heavy footwear when you’re feet are already sore and tired.
Look for the right fit
As well as comfort and weight, it’s equally as important when selecting recovery flip flops or sandals, to choose ones which offer the perfect fit. You want them to contour to your feet comfortably and supportively, without being too tight or restrictive.
At the same time, you also don’t want them to be too loose as they’ll keep slipping off and they simply won’t be able to offer enough support. Ideally, good sandals should work by cradling the arches of your foot, and moulding to your feet in all of the right areas.
When you walk, you should feel as if you are receiving a very gentle massage. If the fit isn’t right, look for footwear that is.
Focus on durability
Even though you aren’t running in your running recovery sandals or flip flops, one of the most important aspects that you’ll need to focus on is the durability.
You get what you pay for when it comes to recovery footwear, so try not to look into ridiculously cheap budget footwear as often they are made from cheap and inferior materials.
When you wear recovery footwear you want something a little durable and hardwearing that is built to last.
Okay, after you’ve just ran for several miles, you aren’t likely going to be going for a swim anytime soon. Despite this however, it never hurts to find recovery footwear with additional features such as water resistance. This is because you’ll likely want to throw them on as soon after finishing your run as possible.
A lot of runners can’t wait to slip out of their running shoes and into flip flops or sandals for recovery, which means that they’ll often have damp and sweaty feet. If not, once they’ve had a warm bath or shower after working out they’ll be quick to slip into their recovery footwear, and so again, this bit of water resistance will certainly prove useful.
Water resistant footwear is a lot more comfortable, it won’t get damp, and it’ll feel nicer on your feet. What’s more, if it does get wet, it won’t stay wet for long.
Avoid budget models
We’ve touched upon this before, but now we’re going to expand upon it to ensure that there’s no confusion. When it comes to recovery footwear, you must ensure that you choose good quality and reliable footwear.
The products that you use will very much need to be made from durable and quality materials and they need to do what they’re designed to do. If you focus on finding the cheapest possible recovery footwear, you’ll likely find that the footwear in question won’t do what it’s supposed to do.
We aren’t saying that you should look for the most expensive footwear out there, but at the same time, if you do try to find footwear which is ridiculously cheap, it will be cheap for a reason and will likely be made from inferior products and materials which don’t do what they’re supposed to do.
Style and design
Okay, we understand that the primary function of recovery footwear such as running recovery sandals or flip flops is to assist with recovery, it certainly doesn’t hurt to look and feel stylish from time to time.
When you’re looking for recovery footwear, it’s important to choose footwear that you like the look of. Style and design is obviously not as important as durability or functionality, but at the same time it’s always nice to like the clothing and footwear that we happen to be wearing.
If you can find recovery footwear that aids in recovery, offers comfort and durability, whilst also looking awesome in the process, well, you’re definitely winning.
As you can see, there’s a lot to know about running, and there’s even more to know about running recovery.
If you’re looking to step up your recovery in between runs, be sure to invest in the best running recovery footwear that you can find.
Hopefully the info in this guide has proven to be informative and engaging. If so, be sure to check out our other articles, and keep your eyes peeled for further releases.