Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

No Concrete or Asphalt

I do almost all my workouts on trails and/or dirt paths and dirt roads. I believe, regardless of form/technique, concrete and asphalt are hard on the body even if you can't feel it. I only run on hard surface for actual races, or due to weather closing the trails.

I find that I develop stronger legs on trails and dirt because you must work to lift the feet from the ground and small rivets in the ground unlike hard surface. I've read a few studies that say dirt is easier on the body and forces the body to work harder to run faster. In comparison, concrete/asphalt provides perfect energy return as it is much easier to run faster on hard surface and the % of bounce (i.e., energy return) is much higher. However, concrete/asphalt transmits much higher shock waves up the legs compared to trails/dirt paths.

To quote someone who lived in Kenya and trained with the elite Kenyan

"The bottom line is that trail and dirt road running produce greater leg muscle power, with less total damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments, compared with hard road rambling."

I know that BF is easiest on hard surface and it's a good surface to learn BF but, in the long term, there may be a negative effect.


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