Experienced distance runners have learned through trial and error the importance of recovery. Those who test the limits of their body’s ability, and who care more about running daily instead of running consistently, are destined for injury. The key to reaching your running or fitness goals is to listen to your body and understand when it is O.K. to push and when it is necessary to take your foot, so to speak, off the accelerator.
So, what exactly is recovery? Absolute recovery is a passive approach. The strategy is to stop completely all running activities and to raise our legs above our heart. That’s nice, but not practical. Especially for those enthusiasts who use running as a release from our hectic worlds.
I like to use the term “dynamic recovery.” This requires the runner to play an active role, which can incorporate a number of different forms:
- a long walk or bike ride on off days
- self massage and foam rolling
- ice baths
- nutrition and hydration
Now, I understand that many well-intentioned runners simply do not have enough hours in the schedule to perform all of these tasks. Therefore, I support the use of movement in footgear that decreases the amount of ankle power needed to move. The Oofos recovery line of sandals and shoes is an excellent option for those of us on the go because the footgear has been clinically tested and research-proven to assist in the recovery phase.
Success is not measured by the medals we wear but by knowing we were able to put out our maximal effort without wearing out. My hope here is that you learn to know yourself and to embrace recovery in order to attain new goals. Good luck!