What surface and why?
Runners use different surfaces for different reasons.
Road running is often used to build speed, a hard surface to push from without a large loss of energy.
Grass is an excellent way to prevent injury and promote strength. Grass provides less pressure and impact going through your body. Grass running results in a longer contact time, i.e. your foot is on the ground for longer so you need more strength to push yourself off again.
Soft sand running is not for the faint at heart. It promotes serious strength and lower limb stability. The sand moves away from your foot, so you need to stabilise before pushing off.
Using this information you can make an educated plan for return to running following an injury. Often the goal is to reduce load.
Did you know that the pressure that comes up through your body from the ground as your foot makes contact (scientifically called the “ground reaction force”) is more than 10 x higher when you run on the road compared to the grass? This can be up to 7 times your body weight!
So, returning from injury plan to reduce load. Normally a road runner? Try the trails. Normally a soft sand runner? Try the track or the grass. Think total load. Combine the reaction force of the surface with the strength required to run on that surface.
What else happens? So the surface can assist in not only reducing total load but can also introduce proprioception into your rehab. IF you’ve had a rolled ankle, it is essential that you re-teach your ankle how to cope with uneven surfaces or unexpected movements or loads.
So don’t stop, just alter. Where possible we work with you to keep you running, in some form. We all know the physical and psychological benefits of exercise so don’t tell our patients to rest unnecessarily.
Need help planning your return or your next challenge? Give us a call today 8544 8484.