Skip Nav
Beginner Fitness Tips
The Lazy Girl's Guide to Getting Strong
Healthy Recipes
18 Healthy Dinners That Are 5 Ingredients or Fewer
What to Eat to Get Weight-Loss Results
Healthy Eating Tips
Here's Exactly What I Started Eating to Get the Results I Was After

On The Surface of Things: Where to Run

Cool Running, the web site that brought you the ever popular Couch to 5K running program, has rated running surfaces. Why? In an attempt to help keep runners free of injuries — that's why. Running on rock hard surfaces like concrete, like sidewalks, is hard on the body. To protect your joints you want to look for surfaces that have shock absorbing qualities for the majority of your runs. Also, you should try to be consistent with your surface choice, an abrupt switch can lead to injuries.

Here are the surfaces listed in order of best to worst. The number to the right indicates their "grade" with 10 being the best and 1 being just plain awful:

Grass 9.5
Wood chips 9
Dirt 8
Cinder track 7.5
Track 7
Treadmill 6.5
Asphalt 6
Sand 4
Snow 2.5
Concrete 1

If, after reading the list, you decide to move your runs to asphalt, aka the street - BE CAREFUL. Run defensively! Run towards on coming traffic so you can see what is coming at you. Don't listen to music (or at least keep the volume low enough that you can hear the environment around you). Wear bright colors too so you are easily seen.


From Our Partners
These Experts Agree: Running Is NOT Bad For You If You Do It Right
Spotify Customizes Playlists For Runners
Treadmill Mistakes
How Can I Lose Weight?
Treadmill and Strength Training Combo Workout
Why I Chose Orangetheory Fitness to Get in Shape For My Wedding
Is It Better to Run on Sand?
5K a Day Challenge
How Runners Build Endurance
What Is the Studio Running App?
How Can I Start Running?
Marathon Tattoos
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds