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Soft surfaces not good? (Read 1051 times)

    Read this .

     

    While trail surfaces alone are <> soft surfaces, i am not sure whether the point being made is you are more likely to injure yourself running trails because you will trip/twist or whether the point is that your biomechanics change internally ..

    I dont sweat. I ooze liquid awesome.

    Julia1971


      I think it's more the latter.  I thought the take away line was the one they had about the closest thing to a study on the issue: "studies like these found that the body automatically adjusts to different surfaces — at least, as mimicked by cushioning in shoes — to keep forces constant when foot strikes plate."

       

      So, I thought they were saying soft (and irregular) surfaces are fine, but people need to give themselves time to adjust to them.  Don't assume just because it's softer it's magically "better" and therefore you can run the same amount/way that you've been running on asphalt.

      You're too strong not to keep on keepin' on. - The Pips
      Yes, I am! - Gladys Knight


      Prince of Fatness

        Well I'm calling BS on the rolling the ankle argument.  I have had just as many close calls on the roads as I have with trails.  And if there is a lot of car traffic you can't always pay attention to where the potholes, curbs, etc., are..

         

        That said I don't think that the hardness of the surface really matters as much as people think it does.  That's my experience at least.  I'll take a flat, even sidewalk over a cambered asphalt road any day.  I think that people that these "overuse" injuries that people running on roads experience are due more to the cambered surface than that hardness of the surface.

         

        I try for variety.  Some roads, some trails, etc.  Too much of anything is too much.  Too much of any one thing too soon has its risks.  If I was training for a road race most of my running would be on roads.  If I was training for a trail race most of my running would be on trails.

         

        I really don't see anything in that article that folks don't already know.

        Semi-retired.


        Impact& sport adventurer

          Looks like the body adapts to the surface it's running on. My understanding is that it's like changing your shoes (e.g. runners adapting to race marathons in vibram 5-fingers after using running shoes previously).

           

          I wonder, though, if you run on both surfaces if a run on grass is easier on your body than run on pavement. I use vibrams on pavement 3-4 miles ever 1-2 weeks and this seems to help prevent injury and joint pain. I also run on dirt roads, grass, pavement, etc.

           

          I don't think it's saying that soft surfaces are not good... may be that they are not better.

          PBs: 1 mile - 4:59 (2008) 5k - 17:34 (2011) 10k - 37:40 (2011 in Blenheim Half), 21k - 1:21:32 (2011 Blenheim) 42.2k - 2:59:24 (NYC 2011), Ironman - 10:28:43 (2010 Hawaii)

           

          2011 Goals: Olympic Tri - 2h05min (2h09min), 5k: 17:30 (17:34) 10k: 37:00 (did not attempt), 21km: 1:21:00 (1:21:32), 42.2: 2:59:59 (2:59:24)

            I try to avoid concrete (pavement) whenever i can .. because i have been lead to logically believe that the harder the surface you run on, the more the impact that travels up your leg. And from the little running that i do, i have found asphalt to be a bit easier on me than pavement.

            I dont sweat. I ooze liquid awesome.

            kaneb80


              I try to avoid concrete (pavement) whenever i can .. because i have been lead to logically believe that the harder the surface you run on, the more the impact that travels up your leg. And from the little running that i do, i have found asphalt to be a bit easier on me than pavement.

               

              Yes, I agree. I run 2500+ miles per year and vary the terrain primarily to reduce impact on my body. But to each his own because I also know people who put on more miles than me only on the roads and have been doing so for decades. It's obvious to me that when I run on grass and trails, I have to focus in a different way than on the roads so as to not fall or injure myself. But a side effect of the varying terrain is getting to explore new areas, which keeps running really fun for me. Happy trails!

                I think there's always a trade off. A couple months ago I transitioned to more running on grass, and one hill session/week,  thinking it would be less impact and build up my legs more, which is true. However, it also places more stress on the achilles, which for me resulted in a bad heel spur and bursitis on the back of my heel.  

                 

                I just don't think someone can immediately transition all  of their running from one road surface to another and not expect some issue. There's always trade offs.  

                 

                btw, I don't think there's much difference between asphalt and concrete. 

                  That article seems to confuse irregular surfaces and soft surfaces. Twisting is more likely to occur from irregular surfaces. However, if someone with really weak ankles and feet runs on a soft surface, like a gym mat or maybe snow, that depression could result in some twisting. (yea, this article's been discussed elsewhere earlier = not very good)

                   

                  Oh, and the worst fall I've ever had was this spring on pavement - tripped on a corner, landed face first down over the curb. Oh, that wasn't a twisting injury. sorry.

                   

                  The problem isn't so much the surface as the person's weak feet and ankles. Went through PT for this including going from barely being able to run with 2 ft on gymnastics floor exercise mat without aggravating achilles issues to being able to do single legged hops in multidirectional pattern - not as good as the younger folks or ones with stronger feet and ankles, but sometimes just being able to do something is an achievement. (didn't go to the xt class enough to get good at it)

                   

                  Even surface running increases the repetitiveness of the same motion and decreases the range of motion your feet / ankles go through.

                   

                  Trails are good for general health and fitness, which includes your feet and ankles.

                  "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog
                  xor


                    That article seems to confuse irregular surfaces and soft surfaces. Twisting is more likely to occur from irregular surfaces.

                     

                    Si, si, si.

                     

                    That's what always cracks me up about the 'trail running is way easier on the body' crowd.  Man, that TOTALLY depends upon the trails you utilize.  Most people*** don't end a road run with bloody knees, scrapes, itchy poison oak, black toenails, dislocated toes, and/or poofy ankles.

                     

                     

                     

                    ***Alas, I am not most people. My most recent running dings came from falling on the damn sidewalk while running fast (for me).  OUCH.

                     

                      I'm with AKTrail.  I don't think the hardness of the surface makes much difference at all, but when running on an even slightly irregular surface, your Automatic Foot and Ankle Surface Adaptation Radar System is automatically engaged.  When it's functioning, assuming it is in good shape, the shock to your knees will be reduced.

                      Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

                        I always wondered what AFASARS stood for - I thought it had something to do with NASCAR.

                        I can do 440 in 220      Half Fanatic #846      90% of running is half mental     I ran half of my last race on my left foot!