Where to run: the grounds for running

What is the best terrain to run on?

It depends on the terrain on which you’ll run. Different surfaces have peculiar characteristics that may be critical or even useless in relation to the type of race (length and number of kilometers), speed and the expertise of the runner.

For example, the surface of the road will change depending on the climate, the degree of use and the presence of traffic. 

The sand is less slippery, but you’ll have to make an effort to stay on it. If you’re running on a track, you’ll need to be more careful than if you were on the road.

We need to pay more attention to the amount of stress our joints are subjected to, especially ankles, knees and hips. The impact with the ground (3 times the weight of the athlete) is transmitted to the body through the use of protective shoes, the choice of a terrain that can partially absorb the “Blow”, and the elasticity of the joints.

We try to analyze some terrains and to verify what their strengths or weaknesses may be.

Asphalt (road):

The easiest places to find are in the city, such as the cycle paths. This is a good shoe for beginners, who don’t want to strain their legs too much, and are looking for a smooth and regular road for their training. It is not possible to put one’s foot in the wrong because of being rather rigid.

Another type of shoe is the cross trainer. It has a more flexible design, and it is therefore easier to put your foot in the right place. 

However, there are no pedals attached, so you have to put them on yourself. A cross trainer is a great solution if you have an exercise bike or some other kind of machine that has a saddle and a platform with pedals.

Running on dirt is a great exercise for runners and other active people because it gives them an opportunity to enjoy a fun outdoor activity while increasing their cardiovascular fitness and strength. 

It is a great training option for athletes of all levels of experience. Before starting your first trail run, there are several things to take into account.

Run in groups One of the most important things to keep in mind when running on dirt trails is that you need to be with others. 

This is the best way to make sure you stay safe and enjoy the experience. Running alone is not recommended. If you want to practice trail running, start with an easy route. 

In this way, you can learn how to balance yourself and adjust your pace without any stress or risk.

Cement (walkways or other)

Cement is very strong and rigid. It is one of the most difficult substances in nature. It is more difficult than other natural materials such as granite or diamond. 

It is very strong as well. So much so that it can survive the impact of a foot on it’s surface, but not without some trauma.

The force of impact should be applied at the point of contact. The impact is transferred through the shoe into the ground. 

This is why you hear the “crunch” when you walk on concrete. The impact is made by your feet, but it is transferred to the ground. To get the full effect of the impact, you need to put some weight on the shoe.

Clay ,  dirt paths (regular)

Perhaps these are the best surfaces on which any runner can “venture”. In addition to being generally preferable to the road because they are far from traffic, therefore very safe and with better air quality, these types of terrain offer better cushioning, reducing impact injuries. 

For those who carry out quality work they are certainly slower than asphalt but they are an excellent overheated if the surface is homogeneous and does not present particular pitfalls (roots, bumps, protruding stones), while for the beginner they are the best soils as the bottom absorbs part of the impact with the foot, as well as being generally in more suggestive locations (woods, parks, countryside).

The second category of surfaces that I would like to consider is the asphalt. Asphalt is the most common material used to build roads and it is used worldwide. 

It has a good performance, but it can cause injuries if used incorrectly. In general, running on asphalt is a risk factor for plantar fasciitis, as well as heel spur and ankle sprain. Moreover, the heat of asphalt is also a cause of injury, especially in the summer. 

On this type of surface, if we have to perform quality work, we are much slower than on other types of surfaces. 

However, for the beginner who wants to improve his or her running technique, asphalt is a great training ground.

 The main drawback is that it is not as safe as other types of surfaces. There are several kinds of asphalt: the first one is called “blacktop” and it is composed of a mixture of sand, limestone, and asphalt.

Grassy meadows

Even though some considerations need to be made, what has been said about clay is still valid for these types of lands. 

When choosing a football field or golf field, running on grass is ideal because the ground is very regular and the ground is lower. 

If you are on the classic uncultivated field or with grass over ten centimeters in height, you will have to be more careful, as you can hide pitfalls, such as stones or large stones, holes or other. 

On a muscular level, running on lawns with unshaven grass can be very demanding for a beginner runner, as there were not enough of them already.

If you are a beginner, we recommend that you choose a more technical sport to start with. 

For example, running on the beach is a great way to get used to running in sand, but it is difficult to control your speed and distance. The same is true for running on a soccer field or basketball court.

We would like to thank the authors of this book for the many hours they spent in the lab and on the streets with us to make this book possible. 

We also want to thank our editors, Joe D’Angelo, Steve Jernigan, and the entire Black Dog team for their professionalism and for making this project a success.

 Finally, we would like to thank our families for supporting us during all of this time and for being our biggest fan. 

I come from a seaside area, so I would have the opportunity to run often on the sand.

 Although it is very suggestive, especially in some hours of the day, I prefer other surfaces: the shore can be a good surface on which to run but often has the defect of having an excessive inclination on one side, forcing the runner to change his posture. 

It is advisable for a beginner as long as the direction of travel is reversed frequently and the ground is sufficiently smooth.

 The stretches of dry sand are absolutely not recommended, where the foot does not have a regular support and forces the ankle to overwork (in addition to requiring too intense muscular effort, at least for beginners).

It’s a good idea to avoid all terrains with stony ground, dry sand, muddy or frozen terrain, let’s leave them to trail enthusiasts who know how to interpret them, as a general advice.

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