The Training Benefits Of Running On Different Surfaces

by | Apr 26, 2024 | Technical Articles

Do you always run on the same surface? There’s more than one reason to switch things up. Here are the benefits of running on different surfaces.

Burn More Calories

Running on slightly soft surfaces, like grass, sand or woodland/forest trails actually burns more calories than trotting along on pavements. Your muscles have to work harder to stabilise you and will respond slightly differently to each step. You’ll need to work your upper body harder to keep stable and your arms, torso and shoulders will all come into play. Running on new surfaces becomes a full-body exercise and a great calorie burner.

Avoid Injury

One way to pick up a running injury is by sticking to the same surface for all your training runs. This is particularly true if that surface is road or pavement built on a camber. By changing the surfaces on which you run, you expose your body to different levels of impact and increase your opportunity for recovery.

Tone Up Your Legs

Running on new surfaces demands more of your muscles. If you run on slightly soft surfaces with a bit of give, such as sand, grass or light gravel, you will find that your muscles have to work harder to absorb the impact of each stride and to push off to accelerate. Over time, the look of your muscles will change in response to the variety of surfaces you run on.

Add Some Variety And Freshen Up Your Running

As you seek out new surfaces to run on, you’ll naturally discover new running routes. This will inject some variety into your running training, prevent you from getting bored of the same old routes and freshen up the way you look at your favourite hobby. Who knows, you might find a wonderful new running route and a secret new favourite place to run.

What Surfaces Do You Have Available To You? Try These:

– sandy beaches

– woodland or forest trails

– running tracks

– light gravel paths (try your local park)

– indoor running tracks

– short grass (local playing fields are ideal)


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