What Is the Best Surface to Run On? There are several approaches to answer this query. In many cases, the answer has much to do with what surface we’re running on. While that is certainly a point of personal preference, not all surfaces are created equal. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Our feet touch a lot of different surfaces, and it is important to make sure you’re picking the top surfaces to run on.
In this article, we will cover the 10 finest running surfaces, including their respective pros and cons, so you know all the surfaces which may be ideal for your future!
Among the beauties of the sport is that you may run on just about any surface, any place on earth. As long as you have toes, you can train wherever you end up. But not all surfaces are created equal — vary your location and you’re going to change your session, because of the various impacts involved as well as the pressures which make up their way to your joints.
Table of Contents
What Is the Best Surface to Run On?
1. Synthetic track
Artificial paths are flat surfaces for fast runners (or those who want to get quickly!). They are best for speedwork because they are measured and even. But you certainly could use them for different runs too. In international competition, the synthetic track is used for all from the 100m up to the 10k.
Often called Tartan monitors, these are made from polyurethane materials and are proprietary to 3M. While are they’re a fairly pliable coating, their true advantage is that they provide a constant surface irrespective of weather conditions.
Pros: While synthetic tracks are not the softest of surfaces, they still are fairly comfortable and forgiving. Additionally, they have the extra advantage of having an exactly measured distance, so you don’t want a fancy GPS watch to know how far you have run.
Cons: The curves which you’ll need to deal with on a track could be hard on the knees, hips, and knees because you are placing more stress on them.
When you run on bud, you channel your inner child. What child does not love bud? As it happens, it is great for adult runners also. Two-time world indoor champion Marchus O’Sullivan notes, “In the summer, when I operate mostly on grass, my whole body appears to relax. “Be aware that this can be an indoor track winner, championing outdoor running grass.
Softer surfaces like grass are a terrific way to mix your working game and give your body a nice break. If you’ve found yourself at just a small bit of a running slump, then you might look at working on grass. Wish to be a small extra with your bud running? You will feel like a kid again.
Pros: The grass is a low-impact surface, meaning that it’s easy on your muscles and joints. At precisely the exact same time, it’s actually making your muscles work hard, building your strength. It’s especially ideal for speedwork if you can find a flat area such as a soccer complex or golf course.
Cons: Since many mountainous surfaces are natural, they can be uneven, which can be dangerous for any runner but especially for someone who has weak ankles or poor balance.
When moist, grass can become a slip’n slide, which no runner wants. Plus, it’s not good for people with allergies, also since you are going to have to work harder, it is possible to tire out more quickly.
3. Cinder Track
You may have trouble finding one nearby, but if you happen to live near you, it is undoubtedly an adequate surface to test out. If anything, it’ll be a wonderful variation to your conventional running surfaces.
Pros: You get the benefits of a trail –a distance that is measured exactly–having a simpler surface on your toes. A cinder track will create your tendons and muscles feel far better than jogging on the street, especially if the trail is well-maintained and even.
Cons: Cinder tracks take many similarities to packaged gravel, including a surface that is less-than-solid, and may be uneven or offer dodgy traction. Sudden starts and stops (for instance, if you’re performing spring intervals) could be an adventure in hazard management.
Plus, a cinder track isn’t an all-weather surface, meaning it’s going to be greatest on a muddy day at the spring or autumn. They become slippery and loose in the warmth of the summer, and they can become boggy if it’s raining.
Winter trail running: man requires a streak on a snowy mountain path in a pine forest. Depending on where you reside, running on snow may or might not be an alternative. If you are up north, it definitely is. Snow can unquestionably be scenic and a fun variant, but if you add in a few ices, it can be quite dangerous.
Spend time in the internet running community and you’re sure to encounter that movie of the unfortunate runner who sings the praises of snow because an ideal feel for jogging and minutes later wipes out afterward occurring across a patch of ice. Even so, snow shouldn’t be ruled out as a wonderful surface to run on.
Pros: You’ll also need to slow down some, which is very good for recovery runs.
Cons: On the reverse side, you’ll need to manage cold weather and likely a considerably different temperature than you are utilized to, and that may be a shock.
In addition, you may need to manage slippery snow, slush, and ice, meaning your run might be more interesting than you expect.
Finally, running is snow is actually ideal for your own shoes. Plus, you should strongly consider adding spikes for security reasons, so you’ll probably require two pairs of sneakers so as to successfully run in the snow.
5. Woodland paths
For a run that combines constantly changing surroundings with near-ideal running surfaces, then head for your regional woodland. Soft peat is God’s gift to runners, trails are often quite flat, and in some woods, they go on for kilometers. They could sometimes be somewhat muddy, however. Woodland trails can be a small mixed bag in terms of quality, although the odds are usually in your favor.
Pros: Usually easy on the thighs and located in scenic areas that make you keen to return.
Cons: Tree roots could be a hazard for unwary runners.
When the weather’s bad, a treadmill is the greatest indoor running option for most runners (well, it beats running immediately in your living area ). Most treadmills have tracks that show incline, pace, heart rate, calories burned along with other information. The hardness of the running surface fluctuates between machines — a few are far softer than many others.
Not everyone’s cup of tea, but fine if you reside in an inner-city place with few trails, little grass, and freezing weather. Also great for rural runners once the days are short, and for runners that find it tough to maintain a constant pace.
Pros: The smooth coating is usually easy on the thighs, and hitting the desired pace is merely a matter of adjusting the machine (as long as you can keep up!) . Additionally, you do not need to think about external factors like dogs, wind, and bad weather. The precise amount of control creates a treadmill perfect for speedwork.
Cons: Effectively running on the place isn’t very exciting, and if you don’t concentrate on keeping up your pace, you could be unceremoniously dumped supporting the machine. Without the advantage of a natural breeze, treadmill runners tend to sweat profusely. The machines are too costly for many individual runners, and also gym membership may be uneconomical if you just go there to run.
Sand offers a run using a real difference. When it’s dry and deep, you may give your calf muscles the work-out of their life without needing any effect damage to your joints. If you’re on the beach, you get the sea breeze along with the environment as a bonus, and if you do not fancy the dunes, you are able to choose the relatively firm strip by the water’s edge as a brisker option.
Flat, firm sand can be a near-perfect working surface, but most shores have cambered and any uneven footing can overstress muscles.
Pros: Sand gives a chance to run barefoot in a pleasant atmosphere. Running through dunes provides good resistance training also strengthens the legs.
Cons: Despite being great for building leg strength, the softness of the sand usually means a higher chance of Achilles tendon injury. Also, though the sand is firmer in the water’s edge, the tip of the surface places uneven stresses on the body.
Although running on pavement may sometimes be a safer choice (to prevent traffic), asphalt is a bit softer and therefore easier on your body than concrete. Thus, if you’re running on a difficult surface, then elect for asphalt roads as soon as you can, as long as they’re safe.
Benefits of asphalt include consistency and uniformity, which makes it good for speed workouts. Whenever you don’t have to consider where you are placing each measure, you can pick up your pace. Plus, asphalt roads are often mapped, which makes it effortless to track your mileage with a program, an internet map, or your car’s odometer.
Of course, asphalt’s tough surface has its own drawbacks–particularly how it jolts the joints.
Pros: Since most races are conducted on the road, if you are training for a race that you should get off the treadmill, which means you’ll be in tune with any obstacles from the streets. Also, running on the road can be better for those who undergo Achilles tendonitis, since the sturdy surface retains your Achilles tendon at a less-tensed position.
Cons: The road is composed of many different obstacles and risks, from potholes to cars, which may cause your running more unsafe.
While it is harder than asphalt, concrete is a readily accessible running surface and yet one that is quite practical for most people to utilize.
On the other hand, concrete sidewalks are protected from traffic and are inclined to be flat and smooth. And some research suggests that if you are not going too quickly, the effect of the terrain, in terms of influence on the muscles and joints, is negligible.
Still, be aware of concrete cons: It is high-impact, particularly if you’re running fast. And you face barriers like curbs, pedestrians, and traffic when crossing roads.
Pros: Running the sidewalk may be the most suitable if you reside in a city, and it also may be the safest alternative if you don’t need to risk it to the street.
Cons: Concrete sidewalks are among the hardest surfaces you are able to operate on, which may translate to more stress in your joints and joints. Most running experts advise that you try to limit your time on the pavement, but other studies have shown that there’s no difference in the amount of strain on your body if you run on the pavement versus working on the street. But in case you have injuries like ankle sprains or knee pain, then it’s probably best if you stay away from the street.
City dwellers that are consigned to running on sidewalks understand the ins and outs of running on cement. Besides asphalt, it is a go-to surface in our much-paved world. Cement tends to be smooth and omnipresent. No matter where you live, there is a good possibility that there’s a cement surface nearby that you can run on.
Pros: Among the biggest pros of cement is that it will be very flat, since you’re dealing with sidewalks and at times roads. This means you could go fast, and if you’re running on sidewalks, then you don’t need to take care of cars, creating your run that far safer.
Cons: At precisely the exact same period, cement is known to be among the hardest surfaces to run on. And that is definitely something to look at when you’re pounding the sidewalk.
In the long run, each person is different and will have different preferences for their preferred surfaces to operate on. But no matter what you like, you can’t ever go wrong with one of these 10 surfaces.