Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

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DOR Podcast #141: From Zzzs to PBs: Enhancing Run Performance with Quality Sleep

This episode is all about sleep! Getting healthy sleep is the biggest performance enhancer out there (yes, even more than super shoes). Nate and Matt are joined Dr. Ryan Wooderson to talk all things sleep. They explore fundamental issues like the physiology of sleep, what "enough" sleep is, and how to adjust after a bad night of sleep. Ryan also gives tips on how to set yourself up for a good night's sleep, optimize your recovery, and more.

Listen to This Week's Podcast Here!

Direct Links: Apple | Spotify | Anchor


About Ryan Wooderson

Dr. Ryan Wooderson is a physical therapist, biomechanist, and fitness/wellness advocate. He is passionate about helping people move better and live better, for the long run. He earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Regis University and completed his orthopedic residency at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is an orthopedic clinical specialist and his practice focuses on injury prevention and helping athletes return to the sports and activities they love. He has been practicing for 8 years in Denver, CO. You can find him online and Instagram @longrunphysio.


This week's episode of the Dcotors of Running Podcast is sponsored by Running Warehouse. Running hats are the perfect protection to keep you cool and focused on your miles. We’ve tested several hats over the years at Doctors of Running and have really enjoyed two brands in particular - Ciele and Fractel. If you like a slim, sleek hat with all the color options, Ciele’s GOCaps are ultra-light, airy and have a really great lockdown. For those who want a wider fit, you may want to check out caps from Fractel which have a wider fit and solid UPF 50+ protection to keep you protected from the sun.


  0:00 - Intro 
5:00 - Overview of the basics of recovery 
9:22 - What are some signs of insufficient recovery? 
13:23 - The basics of sleep 
20:29 - How much does one night of bad sleep matter? 
24:41 - What to do if you have a bad night of sleep 
27:26 - What is "enough" sleep?
32:01 - How should you change your running plans after a bad night of sleep?
39:59 - What's the role of naps? 
44:56 - The build-up effects of consistently poor sleep 
49:18 - The balance of using running as a stress-reducer 
54:55 - Tips for prioritizing stress-reducing activities 
58:36 - Strategies to set yourself up for good sleep
1:03:04 - The interaction between sleep and running performance 
1:05:16 - Burritos vs. tacos 
1:10:18 - Wrap-up

Recent Episodes

#140: Mailbag! | Link
(We answer more questions from listeners including whether footstrike correlates with super shoes)

#139: Nike Vaporfly 3 | Link
(We go all-in on the Nike Vaporfly 3, including comparisons)

#138: The Latest Findings on Super Shoes |
(Geoff Burns and Dustin Joubert share research on super shoes for slower runners)

#137: Biomechanics with Brooks Running | Link
(Inside the brain of biomechanists with Evan Day and Jennifer Sumner)

Recently at Doctors of Running

Nike Vaporfly Next% 3 - A better fit and new geometry make the Vaporfly 3 the best yet
Under Armour Flow Velociti Elite - UA releases their racer, featuring an ultra comfortable platform
Puma Liberate Nitro 2 - This mid-6 oz shoe offers an old school, low to the ground trainer
Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2 - One of our favorite racers sees its upgrade, but is it better?
Topo Phantom 3 - A daily training shoe with a fantastic upper and simple, functional ride
New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v3 - A real balance of cushion and durability for the trails

Follow Doctors of Running on Social Media

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Podcast: Virtual Roundtable

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