On my run I often run through a grass covered park. This seems to be easier than running on the road, so I did a bit of research.
Running on soft surfaces may not prevent injury and in some cases, it may even increase the risk of injury. Studies have shown that softer surfaces can increase the load on certain areas of the body, such as the Achilles tendon or shin bone, which can cause further damage. Therefore, it is important to choose the right running surface based on factors such as your current physical condition, the terrain, and your overall goals.
So do softer running surfaces, such as grass or trails, help to reduce the risk of injury. Let's find out the truth and wither or not you should give it a try.
The Research: Does Running on Soft Surfaces Really reduce injury When Running?
There have been several studies conducted on the topic of running surfaces and injury risk. The first study suggests that people recovering from Achilles tendon injuries should avoid running on soft surfaces and reduce the pace of their runs to prevent further injury. The reason for this is that the softer surfaces can increase the load on the Achilles tendon and place more stress on it, which can cause further damage.
Another study shows running on softer suffices puts more strain on the shin bone which would increase the chance of injury.
Choosing the Right Running Surface
Based on the research, running on soft surfaces will not prevent injury, and in some cases, may actually increase the risk of injury. However, this does not mean that running on soft surfaces is always a bad idea.
When choosing a running surface, it is important to consider factors such as your current physical condition, the terrain, and your overall goals. For example, if you are recovering from an injury or have a history of injuries, you may want to avoid soft surfaces and stick to flat, stable surfaces such as pavement or a track.
On the other hand, if you are looking to add variety to your training or simply enjoy the feel of running on grass or trails, you can still incorporate soft surfaces into your routine. Just be mindful of the potential risks and adjust your pace and running form accordingly.
Running on hard surfaces is usually the better choice but, there is always a reason to run on softer surfaces such as running in nature. Now you should have decided what running track to use, let's take a look at what running shoes are best for you to prevent injury.