There’s no getting around it: Road running is hard on the body. It just is. Especially since the two predominant surfaces are either concrete or asphalt (macadam). Or a combination of the two. Both are hard, unforgiving surfaces and, given a choice, many newbies wonder which one is best for running. Perth Artificial Grass is an artificial turf supply and installation company based in Jandakot Perth, WA. We are a locally owned company and have been actively in operation for a number of years. Through the years, we have diligently built our brand in the market and will consistently hold to our continued drive to guarantee absolute customer satisfaction. At Perth Artificial Grass we offer the best of variety and a variety of the best. That is to say that we have a variety of premium quality products that our clients can choose from. The detail that goes into the manufacturing process of our products ensures that all our synthetic grass is perfectly suited for the Australian weather. What you get from our company is synthetic turf that is durable, a perfectly safe product and definitely a worthy investment that will last for long. As a company, we pride in a very strict manufacturer selection process. This process effectively eliminates any unscrupulous players who are non-compliant with industry set regulations and who churn out inferior products. Our specialist team always inspects the products to ascertain its quality. Additionally, we have an expertly trained and very seasoned team of fake grass consultants. Ours is a full-service supply and installation company, affording our clients the convenience of a one-stop shop. Our team has successfully completed numerous installations for residential, commercial and industrial clients over the years. Our turf installation experts have also prepared an easy-to-follow DIY installation guide for our clients who would wish to give synthetic turf installation a try. This is definitely a resource you can rely on as it is by experts, for the not-so-expert. As experts in the field, the team will appropriately respond to any feedback or follow up questions you may have on the same.
A better question might be which one is worst? The answer is quite simple: Concrete is just about the worst possible surface to run on. (Cobblestone streets are actually worse’ fortunately it’s a rarely encountered road surface in Texas.)
Let is be said in no uncertain terms: Concrete roads and sidewalks should be avoided at all costs. Why? Concrete is much, much harder than even the firmest asphalt.
Asphalt might seem hard too, but if you want to see the difference between the two, pick up a hammer and smash it onto a concrete road, driveway or neighborhood sidewalk. If you do, you’ll notice how the energy reverberates from the hammer up your hand and arm. Doesn’t feel good, huh?
Then, try the hammer on asphalt. You will feel some reverberation on the asphalt too, but it won’t be nearly as pronounced as concrete. And check what the hammer did to the surface. It probably put a small dent into the asphalt, but there won’t be any mark on the concrete because it’s so darn hard.
In point of fact, it’s rock hard.
Studies have shown that concrete is anywhere from eight to 10 times harder than asphalt. That’s a huge difference in how your body will feel after running on concrete (somewhat like your arm felt) as opposed to asphalt..
When you run, your feet will contact the road with a force up to six times your body weight all concentrated in a small landing surface (your heel or the forefoot for those who land on their toes). You do that enough times in a mile and the impact forces can have a detrimental effect.
The only “good” thing about running on concrete is it’s a faster surface. Since there’s almost no give, it returns energy better than asphalt which absorbs some. But this is hardly a positive in the long run.
Running a single short workout on a concrete road or sidewalk (such as the San Antonio Riverwalk) usually won’t bother you too much, but continual running on concrete can lead to injuries as the leg muscles, joints and bones get pulverized by the hardness of the surface.
Again, if at all possible, avoid concrete roads and sidewalks. If you must run on such a surface, only do so occasionally.
Clearly, the best surface to run on is dirt trails. Dirt trails aren’t quite as readily accessible as roads, but in Austin and San Antonio there are plenty of good dirt trails. Even a dirt road which is firmly packed, isn’t nearly as hard on your body as an asphalt road or concrete road or sidewalk.
Another alternative is grass. Grass is the gentlest surface and even though there aren’t any entirely grass trails that extend far in any direction, some runs around soccer or football fields or in parks are easier on the body.
At least occasionally, seek out soft trails or grassy parks for gentle, easy runs to allow your body a break from the pounding it takes from the roads. If not, try to choose asphalt roads for the bulk of your training.
Just stay off sidewalks.