Golden Rules of Running #5: The Kenyan Surface

This is the sixth in a series of ten posts reviewing the Ten Golden Rules of Running post from Blaise Dubois of The Running Clinic.


Keep it varied, keep it fun. Trails provide a varied terrain to work and develop different parts of your body. Also a great place to let yourself off the leash.

5. The Kenyan surface

Flat surfaces (road, track, treadmill) are very regular and make every stride mechanically identical to the last. On these surfaces, a biomechanical flaw will be repeated over and over increasing the chances of overuse injuries. The best surface is cross-country or trail running. Firm and irregular; these surfaces allow for a wide variety of movements and therefore a mechanical load that is properly distributed on the lower body.

This seems logical enough.  My preference is definitely for the trails.  The varied terrain keeps me from road boredom and mixes things up a bit.

There is also something about feeling connected in a natural area.  If you could find me running anywhere, I hope it would be in a big open space, with a little mystery around each corner.  Running in itself is a primitive action and there is running on a trail, in a beautiful place, free from traffic.  The great Erwan Le Corre often sites “zoo human syndrome” in his writing.  The trails are my way of occasionally breaking out of the cage.

Sunny or rainy.  Steep or flat.  What ever it takes, have a great run today!



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