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Ask The Coach: Should I Run On Asphalt Instead Of Along The Sidewalk?

NCAA runner turned high school coach Hillary Kigar has answers on training questions for runners of all experience levels–including those who are new to the sport.

I see experienced runners running on the asphalt right next to a sidewalk—should I be doing that?

Runners often avoid the sidewalk and run on the asphalt as they seek softer surfaces. Cement by nature is a harder material than asphalt and contributes to more pounding on your bones and joints while running. Additionally, for those training for a road race of any distance, it’s beneficial to spend some time training on that surface; thus, running on the asphalt helps simulate race-like conditions. However, when running on the roads, it’s important to remember safety. Pick roads with spacious shoulders and bike lanes or sidewalks that allow for more space between you and cars passing by. When running in the dark, remember to wear a headlamp and have a flashing light on your backside so that you are easily seen. And don’t forget to yield to all stoplights, crosswalks and major roads!

Related:

Ask The Coach: How To Ease Back Into Training After An Injury

Editor’s Corner: A Letter From A Runner To Pedestrians Everywhere

Safety Tips For When You’re Running After Dark