August – Day 2: Surfaces Matter

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Our Moms on the Run Wednesday evening class got rained out. The rain by itself wouldn’t have stopped us…but the lightening flashing down way too close was a deal breaker. A few of us were already at the park so we decided to go for margaritas! 🙂

At dinner we were chatting…about running of course! Somehow we got around to taking about running on different surfaces and I mentioned how much I hate running on sidewalks. This is no secret for anyone who runs with me as I am very verbal about it. Concrete is the worst surface to run on. It’s dangerous because of sidewalk cracks and holes and breaks in the surface which we can get our feet caught on, trip and fall, break stuff, scrape stuff…it’s just downright dangerous.

But there’s another reason I don’t like running on sidewalks. Side walks are made of concrete which is the hardest surface we can run on. According to a article,

Physicians at the Women’s Sports Medicine Center in New York City recommend avoiding concrete completely.  If runners choose to jog on concrete, they should have shoes with the maximum level of cushioning and support in order to avoid landing with too much force. Sport medicine doctors warn that forceful landings on concrete can be strong enough to shatter blood cells and reduce the amount of oxygen that the blood can carry to organs. Furthermore, the hardness of the surface can make runners vulnerable to shin splints.

The Runner’s World article “The Hard Road: Racing on Concrete” claims that concrete is 10 times harder than asphalt! They also say that while asphalt is not as risky as concrete, it too can cause stress fractures and runners should make sure they have good running shoes with a decent amount of cushioning to ensure they don’t get injured.

So what surfaces are best for running? Grass and dirt trails get the highest endorsements from experts as long as runners choose areas without a lot of scattered rocks, debris and disruptive tree roots.

Bottom line…

While many doctors advocate running on natural surfaces, others disagree. The irregular surface of dirt and other soft surfaces are hazardous and runners often fare better on smooth and hard surfaces.

Since most runners get bored sticking to one surface, there is no harm in varying surface as long as concrete is used rarely and running shoes are in good shape. Switching surfaces teaches the body to adapt and avoid injuries due to repetition. Various running surfaces can stress the body and feet in different ways, working different muscles or joints, requiring different positions and postures so changing it up is definitely a good idea.

For me, running on concrete is my last choice. I will switch to asphalt whenever possible. If I run more than a mile or so on concrete, I can feel my shins getting mad. If you suffer from shin splits or are susceptible to stress fractures…please avoid concrete sidewalks if possible. If you choose to run on the road, run opposite of traffic and keep an eye on everything coming your way. Be safe!

What is your favorite surface to run on? Do you find that you feel differently when you change it up? Are there certain areas you avoid because of the terrain? Share with us in your daily post and let’s see what the #CoreCrew family trends for surface running are. 🙂

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On to our Thursday workout! Core and Legs…let’s go!

Day 2 exercises: (“how to” videos below) 

  • Quick Core Workout – 1 round minimum

+ 3 Sets of 10: 

  • Straight Leg Kicks
  • Metabolic Up and Down
  • Standing Rainbow
  • Crunch or Reverse Crunch on Stability Ball (Try the Reverse Crunch first then if that is too difficult do regular crunches on the SB to build core strength)
  • Plank 3 x :30 (one :30 plank each round) – If you are new to planks please watch the “how to” video below!


  1. Coffee Break Workout
  2. Food Challenge – Thursday: Thirsty Thursday! Drink 8+ glasses of water today! Great way to get hydrated for long runs coming up this weekend!

Quick Core Workout (#QCW) and Coffee Break Workout

Day 2 “how to” videos:

Standing Straight Leg Kick

Metabolic Up and Downs (with or without weights) 

Standing Rainbow

Reverse Crunch




2 thoughts on “August – Day 2: Surfaces Matter

  1. I agree about running in concrete. I did the Houston marathon years ago. It is all on concrete do had to train on concrete!!!

    Sent from my iPhone



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