A recent article at NY Times says that running on soft surfaces can be hard on the body. While many would advice to run on soft ground like asphalt or dirt roads, some runners experience pain and injury while doing so.
I also have the same thought. Landing on softer surfaces will be softer and will have lesser impact on your feet. It is hard for me to validate it. In fact, there are no scientific studies to prove it or otherwise.
The only existing studies related to running in different surfaces involves changing the cushioning of the shoes. The hardness of the surface is mimicked by the hardness of the cushioning. However, these studies did not have strong results regarding the surfaces. Instead, it showed that the foot adjusts itself to varying hardness. That is how amazing the body works.
Based on my experience, one of my worst injury was while running on a trail back in Pontevedra. It was partly asphalt and mostly dirt road. The surface is a lot softer than the concrete roads I used to run in Manila. But after that 10K run, my ankle hurts so much I have a hard time walking straight for two days.
But my learning from that experience is not about running on soft or hard surfaces but more on the preparation for the run. I think my injury was caused by (1) using a shoe that is inappropriate for the trail and (2) lack of preparation for the trail run.
There are no evidence that running in harder surfaces increases injury. Nor are there studies that running on softer surfaces prevents injuries. What I suggest is to mix these surfaces in your training. The body will adjust and develop more muscles and will make a better runner.NOW AVAILABLE. TAKBO.PH COTTON TEES AND HOODIES. CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO ORDER.
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