I always run on the sidewalk because it seems safer but I always see people running on the road. Is there a reason they do that? Is it just because slow people get in their way or is there another reason? I feel like hte only runner on the sidewalk and it’s starting to make me feel odd LOL 😉
Actually there is a difference! It’s funny but I just found it out very recently. Isn’t it odd how you can go your whole life without knowing something and then it comes up in conversation several times in a short span of time?
As it turns out, running on asphalt is actually much gentler on your joints – especially your knees and hips – than sidewalk concrete. The road pavement has a bit more cushion to it, so each step doesn’t jar the rest of your body as much with every strike of the ground. I don’t know if it makes a huge difference, but if you run a lot and you go quite a distance, that’s a lot of steps. A little can go a long way.
I didn’t know that, envirotodd. So it doesn’t really make a difference if you’re going just a short distance but it makes a difference if you’re going to be going a certain number of miles?
That’s my understanding of it. If you aren’t going very far then it won’t make too much of a difference but if you’re headed out for miles then it will make a notable difference. It’s a cumulative thing so going a few feet won’t do much but as the miles go by your joints will thank you.
Say I run 1 to 2 miles around 2 or 3 times every week is that enough that I should be running on the road or am I still safe running on the sidewalk? I’m only curious. I’m trying to build up my running at the moment after injury but I’ve been trying to stick to a local track to avoid that problem altogether because I like the springiness of the ground compared to pavement.
I was wondering about this too. We have a track near our house and it feels better running on it than the sidewalks…just thought it was me! The shoes make the most difference and the right pair will help you run further and prevent pain.
You’re right, Lizzy. When it all comes down to it, what you’re running ON is important but what you’re running IN makes all the difference. YOu can run on the best track in the world but if your shoes aren’t right, you’re going to hurt. I used to focus on cushion but I’ve found that as long as you’re on a track, it’s the stability that really matters. You need more cushion if you’re on a sidewalk I guess.