Below I’ve discussed running on concrete vs asphalt. Perhaps if you have ever been out jogging or running in the past, you may have had issues afterward with your back aching or joints feeling touchy.
You might have changed running shoes for asphalt; more than once, thinking it was all because they weren’t the right kind too.
Well, the verdict is in, and it’s high time that you learn about the differences of running on concrete Vs asphalt – foot pressure attenuation – Asphalt vs Concrete.
Running On Concrete Vs Asphalt
We’ve collected the scientific reasons and broken them down to the bare bones, so you get the facts straight without asking questions later.
And since this article centers on informing you about why these two surfaces are better or worse, it’s important because of your physical health likewise.
Since we aren’t the spring chickens that we used to be- staying in shape takes determination and strong will. We are determined to help inform you of the best so that your spirit doesn’t become the only thing that can be broken. Check also: Is it OK to run on asphalt?
How Concrete can affect your Running
Concrete is about as common a surface you’ll see in everyday life. When they replaced many city streets with stones for bricks, it helped the roads develop further.
Then when they replaced that brick, it often was paved with concrete. While this surface is perfect for cars or anything with wheels, this is not so good for your body to run on.
Here’s why: Concrete is obviously a hard surface, and there is a test you can do to watch the results for yourself. By taking a golf ball, drop it onto a concrete street or running path.
Watch how high it returns in the air on the first bounce. Then do the same on an asphalt surface and watch the difference. Now what this proves is that the resistance is very different for concrete.
Your bones and joints will react exactly to that harder surface in the form of compression. As you run on concrete, the rate of compression that is 5x your body weight hitting from the heel and moving upward through your bones and spine.
On average, you can expect that someone who is around 120 pounds landing on just their heels (about a square inch or two) can expect a striking force worth 300 pounds per heel upon impact.
This can lead to serious damage due to that kind of constant compression to your joints, bones, and even further damage to your spine – attenuation of foot pressure during running.
How Asphalt is Better for Running
Remember that golf ball trick mentioned earlier. The ball didn’t bounce so high on Asphalt did it? This is because asphalt has the unique ability to absorb impacts.
It’s the perfect choice for better roads since every car or truck is a different weight. It’s more of a natural spring than anything else that takes on pressure under itself to allow for more dense objects to travel on top.
Running on asphalt helps to cushion your feet when the heel first strikes the ground. Scientific studies have learned that the impact is 10x softer than concrete!
Use all the energy-absorbing shoes you want, that still doesn’t have an effect on your body handling the impact. It’s common sense that asphalt is safer to run on for all those obvious advantages. Read Also: Best Running Shoes for Older Runners.
But Why Aren’t Those Fancy Running Shoes Better?
Good question- and we’ll give you an honest answer. Running shoes that have a special spring heel are designed to artificially counter that landing force when you run.
This is total hogwash, since the laws of physics did not tell you that gravity falls downward, and the absorbing of energy starts from your spine working it’s way downwards to the point of impact. Expensive spongy heels won’t keep your back and legs from aching the next day!
Try running on freshly-mowed grass to see our point. The softer a ground surface, the more your body can counter that impact. Just like a golf ball hitting the asphalt, they are successful at canceling each other for both the impact and resistance they share. Read Also: Best Shoes for Cardio Dance.
Running on concrete vs asphalt? The reason why we urge you to always run on asphalt instead of concrete. Not only does it save you plenty of trips to the doctor later, but helps you last a lot longer in your passion for running.