Anyone can run and you can run anywhere.
If you do not train smart, your body will eventually break down from injuries and you will lose the freedom to run.
The choices you make, including where you run, influence how smart your training truly is. Keep on reading to learn how where you run makes a significant difference in your overall running performance and health.
Caution: Running on grass at your local sports field, or golf course, does NOT mean injury and pain free running for the rest of your life. You need to train smart.
THE "BEST OF THE BEST" HYBRID APPROACH TO RUNNING SURFACES
The 2 keys are...
Key 1 - MIX IT UP
Key 2 - RUN THE BEST ELEMENTS
And the 5 best running surfaces (and sayings) are...
I. KICK SOME GRASS
Run the mass majority of your mileage on grass. Grass tracks are very rare but you can probably find a sports field. Flat and well-maintained is best.
II. EXPLORE THE TRAILS
Trails come in many different forms and most types of trails work well. Woodchips are especially helpful for injury prevention but they are hard to find. Trails provide a safe running surface to have in your arsenal. They're also a fun way to break up the monotony of logging long miles.
III. HIT THE TRACK
Tracks are ideal for speed workouts. Don't just run in the same counterclockwise loop. Run clockwise too. Ideally, your counterclockwise to clockwise loop ratio is 1:1. Modern tracks are the best.
IV. TURN UP THE TREADMILL
Treadmills are an effective tool for running your stamina workouts. If you have access to a Woodway treadmill, my favorite brand for treadmills (not a paid endorsement), you can put in significant miles on it.
V. RUN THE STREETS
Asphalt roads are not as great as flat and even grass, wood chip trails, modern tracks, Woodway treadmills, but asphalt roads are still a pretty good option. It's not the same as concrete (one of the worst running surfaces).
Stick to the best running surfaces (the 5 listed in this post) and mix it up.
Like with running surfaces, the types of grass/trails/tracks/treadmills/asphalt are NOT all created equal.