Is it ok to run on asphalt? Running happens to be a high-impact activity which leads to irritated tendons, achy joints and other such runner-related injuries.
Yet, because of all the advantages running routinely has to offer, many people take measured steps to make the impact as less as possible.
As per many different studies, it was even determined that running on softer surface than asphalt does not mean that you will be able to avoid more injuries.
Is It OK to Run on Asphalt?
These steps can be anything from wearing the right running shoes for asphalt to choosing the right training/running techniques. Choosing an ideal surface to run on has been considered one of the quickest and easiest ways to make your running sessions less prone to mishaps.
In fact, choosing the right kind of surface is crucial if you want to get the best out of your running while keeping any minor/major injuries at bay. But you cannot ignore the advantages it has to offer and the fact that other surfaces come with their own set of drawbacks as well.
Asphalt as A Running Surface
Grass, trail, treadmill, concrete sideways/pavements are some common surfaces. But, for city-dwellers like ourselves, most times the only option as a running surface we have are asphalt surface.
Asphalt is a mixture of gravel, crushed rocks, sand and tar and is used to make up most city streets. This material is used to make park trials, sidewalks and city roads.
So, now comes the question – is it OK to run on asphalt? Based on common sense; you can guess that hard surface and dangerous obstacles which are associated with asphalt running surface make it not ideal for running.
As someone who has to deal with the hustle-bustle of a city, finding a better running surface than the streets outside can be a tiresome, expensive, time-consuming affair.
Thus, the trick is not to ditch this particular running surface; but knowing how to overcome its drawbacks and use its plus-points to your benefit.
Thus, next we will discuss the pros and cons of asphalt as a running surface, along with ways to ensure you make it ideal for you!
Pros of Asphalt as a running surface
Considered by many as one of the easiest surfaces to measure. Most asphalt roads are mapped and so you can easily track your mileage with the help of online map and specific smartphone apps.
- As it is mapped, going off the trail is next to impossible with this surface, making it a safe option as well. Compared to concrete it provides a more stable terrain as it is a bit softer than concrete.
- Having not to worry about uneven surface, allows you stay more focused and keep a steady rhythm on asphalt surface. Running on asphalt surface provides uniformity and consistency which allow you to pick up your pace more organically. Thus, asphalt surface is recommended for runners who are into speed workouts.
- Such consistency of the surface also helps you to stay stable and thereby reduces the risk of falling.
- As per studies it was discovered that running on asphalt surface allows you to keep the Achilles tendon in a less-tensed position than any other common surface. So, anyone suffering from Achilles tendonitis should consider running on this particular surface only.
- As most marathon and races are run on street, so this surface is the best place to train before entering such events. In fact, it is recommended to run on asphalt surface before such events rather than treadmill.
As it will help you to get familiar with the different obstacle found on a street and you will be able to handle the unpredictable obstacles better during the event.
Cons of Asphalt as a running surface
- Despite being even, many streets are known to have potholes, sloped shoulder and cambers which can through your body out of alignment.
- So, if you are not careful you might end up with a serious injury. Besides, there is the danger of traffic.
- Even though it is not the hardest of all running surfaces, yet it is not that forgiving as some common surfaces. If not careful, it can provide jolts that affects and weaken the joints.
In fact, serious injuries like stress fracture and shin splints are common for runner who exclusively run on asphalt surface.
Ways to make Asphalt your ideal running surface
The drawbacks of asphalt cannot be overlooked; however, with some easy measured steps these drawbacks can be avoided. Stay alert to avoid uneven surface and follow the traffic rules. Make safety your first priority.
So, here are few suggestions to make this surface your ideal type if want to get the best out of it or if you have no other option than asphalt running surface.
Is it ok to run on asphalt? Make sure to keep your music low so that you do not miss out on anything.Wear bright-colored running clothes and/or gear with appropriate running shoes.
There you have it, now you know if asphalt is the right running surface for it. And more importantly, you now know how to make asphalt your ideal running surface!