Concrete is often thought of as a dangerous surface to run on due to the impactful effect on your muscles, joints and bones from your feet hitting the hard surface. Though not all running and sports experts agree, The Globe and Mail reports that it's the evenness in a surface like concrete that is the culprit, resulting in overuse injuries due to every step being uniform. Regardless, every running surface has its pros and cons; understanding the precautions to take on when running on concrete can help you run more productively while also reducing your chance of injuries.
Things You'll Need
- Running shoes
Warm up by walking or jogging at a slow pace for at least five minutes to increase the blood flow to your muscles and activate the muscle fibers. Accelerate your pace gradually as you progress through your run.
Wear running shoes with proper cushion and support; the cushion helps to absorb the shock of the hard concrete. Shoes should be comfortable and fit correctly while also being the proper make and model for your particular foot. Consult with a professional at a sporting goods or running store to determine the best shoe for your body.
Hit the ground correctly and lightly to minimize any impact from the concrete. Land on your foot between the heel and mid-foot. Roll forward, keeping your ankle flexed, and push off with your toes. Stabilize your body by keeping your core engaged. Relax your shoulders and slide the shoulder blades down your back. Elongate your spine and avoid arching your back or rounding your shoulders.
Vary the surfaces you run on throughout the week, month or training season to avoid an overuse injury. Include concrete in your running schedule but don’t limit yourself to one surface; mix it up by also running on grass, track, dirt trails, sand and the treadmill.
Listen to your body while running on concrete. Be aware of abnormal aches or pains in your muscles and joints, especially in your ankles, knees and hips. Avoid pushing yourself too far on hard surfaces, which may lead to bone fractures or muscle strains. Seek the advice of a physician if you feel any pain or discomfort.
Take rest days to avoid overtraining. Leave at least one full day between runs on any surface, but especially hard surfaces like concrete that may cause an overuse injury.
Stretch for at least 10 to 15 minutes immediately following your run. Include stretches that target all of the muscle groups that were used while running, including the glutes, thighs, calves, ankles, core and back.
Tips & Warnings
- Consult with a health care provider before starting a new running workout. Tell your doctor if you have had any injuries or medical conditions that may be affected by running on concrete, or working out in general.
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