Soft or 'ard

Well i started from scratch after 40 years of chain smoking and binge eating. Got up to w2r2 and was loving the challenge, i even got up one Sunday and was out by 6am. However, after w2r2, the inside of my knees were really painful. Im 11 days rested, feeling much better and im itching to start again. My question is, do you find it easier on soft ground like grass or hard like tarmac? Experiences would be interesting please ☺

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Good question. I am not yet finished the couch25kplan and I think it's horses for courses. I don't like running on grass, although I know it's gonna be softer on your joints, and find it difficult on compact sand as I find the way your feet land is not always consistent , however I have run on compact sand when I had sore calves (and found that seemed to hurt less than tarmac).

Overall I prefer tarmac/gravel. Maintaining a slow and steady pace is good for the joints. I find that lengthening stride and trying to run (too) fast puts a lot of pressure on your joints. I remember reading a post on the internet before about preferences. All surfaces have risk I think. Urban running has it's own risks for example with curbs etc. It's also a good idea if possible to vary surfaces.

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Thanks DawnRun, thats helpful. My run was more like a fast walk shuffle! I kinda hoped id get.....stronger i suppose. Back on it soon hopefully ☺

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Just different...grass can be soft,,, but off road different undulations hidden roots , troughs , ridges etc in the ground mean you have a different run completely.

With the constantly changing terrain, direction and elevation etc, you use more muscles and change speed more often than on a standard tarmac run.

I love my fields and tracks... the lanes etc are just a means to get there...or for a faster run... tarmac makes my legs ache... :(

Try landing lightly and gently... kiss the ground with your feet... and.... slow and steady is the way :)

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I like soft forest trails. Where there has been lots of leaf fall, or pine needles, over the years you get a lovely forgiving surface You run on what's available.

Running on grass is softer than road but it's more tiring I think

I hope your knees will feel better soon 🙂

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Thats a great idea, thankyou

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I run a lot on a wooden boardwalk and it's very easy on the joints. It goes around a lake and so is basically flat which was good to start. When I venture onto roads etc, I feel it more in my legs the next day - could be the surface or the inclines😮😱. I am trying to do different things to spice it up after graduating but I still like the boardwalk (unless mosquitoes are out!!)

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I have boardwalk on my trail but it's hellish when wet or icy. You just have to pick your way over it very slowly 🙂

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I'm of the slightly larger frame, if you get ma drift. I started going around the local football and rugby pitches to give a softer blow to my joints. I always run with ankle supports and support running shoes. I have special needs ankles lol. Once I felt comfortable I moved onto the pavement and I actually found it a bit easier to run as you get a rebound from the hard surface.

A good few years ago I trained solely on a treadmill, but come the 5K run, I was totally unprepared.

I hope my experiences have helped. Good luck.

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Oooo that sounds like me, built for comfort not for speed. Started c25k by going out at 6am and running on football fields near bushes so not to scare folk! Went away and found a park, started w2 but SO uneven. Will defo try tarmac. Thankyou 😊

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Grass is much better for your joints, works more muscles because of irregularities, but is slower.

Your shoes might be causing the problem, if they are old, worn or not designed as running shoes.

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I prefer to run on anything other than Tarmac, but as we tend to run in the evening, we have to run on Tarmac in the winter. At the moment it's off-road all the way! However I injured my knee back in March running on uneven grass/trails - I always keep my eyes peeled for hidden dangers and slow right down if the track becomes very bumpy, rooty or muddy etc. Hate being injured - makes me really cross. I think variety is best - as others have said, running off-road is definitely harder but if you're not bothered about speed and just want to have a lovely run, go off-road if it's safe to do so.

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Ive only run on grass as i thought it would be more gentle on my delicate joints however, i think when im ready to go again, i may alternate between flat grass and tarmac! Thank you for your input ☺

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