- Sustained nonstop flat running is very repetitive and therefore stressful on your joints and muscles.
- Grass running removes some impact shock, but some runners find lots of grass running can aggravate their ITB, plus if you constantly run only on grass your muscles might never develop the same resilience and elasticity they would if you ran on harder surfaces.
- Trail running provides a softer surface and more variety, but the unstable surface and aggravate the ankles and long nonstop uphills can strain the lower leg.
While I can’t avoid the strain of running, I do try to “spread the strain around” by mixing things up. Each week I’ve been doing: 1 flat run, 1 hilly trail run and 1 combination pool run / treadmill run (with random hills). This keeps my legs much fresher than doing the same thing every workout. Also, mixing in a little bit of walking, stopping or easy jogging into a sustained flat run can relieve the repetitive stress. Finally, I also try to mix up my footwear. I find that beefier shoes relieve strain on the feet, but they just transfer the strain higher up (e.g. IT band).