Sandpaper and running surfaces

Today was an interesting day of running, 4 miles on my own, 12 with the group and then 3 for the Taco Run. But what does that have to do with sandpaper and running surfaces? During the taco run I was running with some “young runners” (recent adopters of running) and the route went along 4th and then up Congress and back for a 3 or 5 mile option. There were time when we were north of the capitol where there were few cars on the road and one of the runners was running on the concrete and I suggested he try running on the road since it has more give. He was wondering why that would make a difference. On a short run probably not too much but as mileage and intensity builds up it does put on more pressure.

I tried to draw an analogy to sandpaper. On average each foot strikes the ground for most of us 90 times a minute. On a long run of 2 hours that’s … over 10,000 steps per foot! Like I said it adds up. Now take that across all the training during a marathon and the running surface does make a difference.

Of course that was a very simple way of looking at it, there are lots of other factors. What should I do if there’s a really bad slope on the road and my IT band hurts but the pavement is flat? … um, I don’t know. At some point we all need to use our best judgement. If I training for a trail race, well then the trail, if for a road race well then only running on trails doesn’t make sense … of course just running on the road is also harder on the legs. All a matter of balance.

Current Wins: No longer an ACL virgin, another trip to the lake in the works, good news that friend doesn’t have a stress fracture

Current Losses: Nutrition, iphone coverage at ACL

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One Response to Sandpaper and running surfaces

  1. mahemmonkey says:

    Congratulations on not being an ACL virgin anymore. 🙂 You’re all grown up.

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