Earlier they said that one should choose soil roads for running, as pavement is no good. Firstly, such unsurfaced roads prevailed in the parks and woods at that time. Secondly, long distances were just an incipient tendency, so people were not used to running around the streets.
With the time and technological development of running shoes, this opinion has changed. Let’s learn what is better for running, pavement or soil roads, from professionals.
Opinion 1. Depends on your goals
The answer depends on your goals. If you take part in trails and crosses, you should run on the ground. If the starts take place on the driveway, you should arrange short trainings (intervals) on the pavement, and the recovery ones – on the ground that lessens the impact on your locomotor system.
Opinion 2. Beginners should choose the soil road
The ground is better for amateurs, as it is softer. The impact on the locomotor system is lower that on the hard pavement. The ground should be dense and smooth – such surfaces are not so injury causing.
If there is no choice, you can run on the pavement. It is important to choose shoes with good shock-absorption and monitor the recovery. Of course, experienced runners who are counting on good results at races must perform a certain amount of training on the pavement, as it is their competitive covering. For beginners, it is desirable to run on the ground.
Opinion 3. Avoid concrete pavement and tiles
It is better to run on the ground, as the shock load on the locomotor system is lower than when running on the pavement. The concrete pavement and tiles are even worse than asphalt. If the race is not fast and there is no dirt track nearby, you can run on the pavemnet. However, for tempo training, segments, and developing crosses it is better to provide a dirt track.
Opinion 4. Pay attention to the running technique, and not the covering
It is recommended to run on different coverings including pavement, ground and tartan on the stadium. Each covering activates different kinds of muscles, so the general effect will be great.
It is important to choose good running shoes. However, you should avoid concrete and tiles. The pavement is softer, and the concrete will be felt by all muscles and joints. Of course, if you are preparing for a marathon on the pavement, you are to run on this very covering and twice a week include the ground into your program. If you are preparing for trails, you have to run on the ground a lot, and you do not need pavement at all. Upon the whole, the technique of running is crucial, and not the covering.
Opinion 5. Stadium
Running on the ground is better, as it reduces shock load. Aside from the pavement, you have concrete and tiles on the waterfront that are even harder than asphalt – you should not run on such coverings. However, if we talk about running skills, for example, about the acceleration, intervals and fartleks, the stadium is better. Tartan covering is softer that pavement. It is better for speed acceleration. If you are preparing for a 10-km race (6.21 miles), a marathon or a semi-marathon that are arranged on the pavement, you should insert the stadium accelerations first and then add training on the pavement before the race.
Opinion 6. Pavement is good for speed training
The choice of the best place for running depends on your goal. If you run only to be in good shape, you should avoid the pavement. This covering is not bad, but it bears some risks for amateurs. One needs some experience, quality running shoes and good biomechanics.
If you are aimed at a definite result in the competition held on the pavement, you won’t get rid of asphalt. You will have to adjust to this type of popular covering.
However, you better do not arrange all trainings on the pavement. The percentage of such races depends on the level of your training – the higher it is, the more asphalt you need.
You can follow the recovery and supporting regime on the soft covering. For speed trainings that are close to the competition level you should add some asphalt.