Masters Running


long runs - running surface question (Read 480 times)

    Spareribs, you can hijack my thread anytime, it's ok with me. Rochrunner, I didn't know what got said in the old CR threads 'cause I wasn't there too often or very long. Thanks everyone for your wisdom. I'm definitely avoiding the concrete! I was curious what everyone thought about dirt training versus all hardstuff training. For me, training for a full marathon seems very different to me than training for a half marathon. I'm also uncertain about many things due to the injuries and health concerns I had in 2007, so I want to get it right this year. I promised Tetsujin I would be careful this time with my training. Ilene you bring up a good point about marathon pace. I noticed on the dirt I was slower and got pretty tired, and getting up to the marathon pace speed was not possible. I liked the dirt path in PV because it has some nice long hills plus I could add on some asphalt too (mostly nasty straight up hills) but like you said I wasn't able to get to a marathon pace.


      I've been having problems with my tendons and ankle so spent a lot of time running on grass in 2007. Now its dark earlier at night I'm running on tarmac and I'm having far less problems with my feet. I assumed it was because my feet are more stable and not being twisted around or it could be just coincidence. I'd have thought bare footed running on a beach would be best all round but as the nearest beach is over 90 miles away I will never know.

      Old age is when you move from illegal to prescribed drugs.

        Hi Dromedary. Smile Good thoughts already. Just adding that I think it's a good idea to mix up surfaces. I try to mix it up as much as I can on each and every run I do, including long runs. Even if it's just a few miles of my runs on dirt/trail through or around Seattle urban parks, which is often, I think it can really help to prevent injury. I will say this, too. Once in a while I do a long training run exclusively on trail -- not a mountain trail, but a trail loop with good footing (aside from some mud and lots of hills) around a reservoir in my area. (I did it just last week). I finish that 19+ mile long run tired, but that afternoon I am not nearly as tired as I would feel on a 19 mile run on asphalt. And the next day, I feel like I could easily get out there and run another 19. I feel GREAT. That says something about how much easier trail running is on the body.


          Drom: I'm not sure it makes a huge difference on what surface you run your LRs on.. I will say that most of my daily type runs are on trails or a mix of trails and a little paved bike path. Most of my long runs have been on paved surfaces or mostly paved. I guess I'm waivering.. I do agree with what others have written. I run this trail run that has protruding roots and rocks that really makes you pick your feet up and focus your eyes on what's before you and I'm sure this helps "form". Softer surfaces must be better for joints and tissue.. What I didn't immediately realize is that one is slower on softer surfaces which is a no-brainer in hind sight and does make me feel better about my slower paces in the last few years. Of course that could be the age thing too Shocked!! I know one thing, my turnover is faster on the trail described above and it is a more beneficial workout than other "easier" and more flat trails, in my opinion. I may have confused the subject and/or your question, for this, I apologize, Drom. Chris
            I was once told by an experienced running coach that concrete is about 20% harder than asphalt, as far as impact on joints, shoulder of the road, packed dirt is about 20% of asphalt, and grass is about 20% of dirt. I recently ran a race in Scotland where we ran the last 1/2 mile was on grass because of the steep decline. They said that they were afraid of injuries running down the hill on the asphalt. Run long run well Marathon Derrick

            MM#209 / JapanJoyful#803

              Dromelina, After missing you at the bellymary, I’m glad to see all the excellent advice you’re receiving to make sure you’re at the starting line of the Los Angeles Marathon in March. Even if not your long runs, for sure do some trail running. As several have noted, the uneven surfaces force attention to better form which can result in softer landings on all surfaces from grass to concrete alike. See links below. However, please note that wearing regular running shoes with heavily-cushioned heels can be very dangerous on the trails as trail shoes, with their tough but often thin soles, usually have little heel lift and the kind of cushioning that promotes heel-striking. In lieu of trails, maybe just follow behind ilene on her long runs. As I found out in Portland ‘06, she wears somewhat cushiony shoes conducive to heel-striking butt has pefect mid-foot strikes anyway. PoseTech ChiRunning Coach Joel Fried Coach Ozzie Gontang

              Henry the Great: "I'm going to keep running as long as I can."  Me too, I hope.

              T. Igarashi (summiting Mt. Fuji at age 100): "Enjoy yourself. Your younger days never come again."


                Soundrunner, charleygross, jules2, and marathon derrick thanks for the insights. No charleygross you didn't confuse me! And you're not old Wink. I think we're all old in this forum by some standards (remembe,r people used to say "don't trust anyone over 30" ). I've run on sand but it wasn't for very long distances. I like charging up this steep sand hill in Manhattan Beach (it is used by National Guardsmen for training). I do it barefoot and it's like having a good pedicure. Running on grass is a scary thing around my area. Usually the only grass around here is a golf course and I don't want to get beaned. Or there might be an older high school with grass, but usually these gangbanger kids are lurking nearby. My husband doesn't think it's a good idea for me to go there at all. Tetsujin, thanks for the info about trail shoes and heel striking. The dirt path I run on is not a technical trail so I just use regular running shoes. I also have to cross streets or run on asphalt for up to 2 miles at a time until I get back on the dirt, so that's another reason to use regular shoes. Thanks for all those links too (I would like to get instruction on Pose) but I am a bit wary of Chi Runners. I'll have to tell you about that offline. I am running with Ileneforward this weekend on the bike path until she gets too fast and I see her butt disappear in the distance. I am definitely still running on the dirt for the shorter recovery runs.