• Does Playing Surface Affect Running Performance?
    Natural grass, artificial turf, and asphalt track are three surfaces that sporting events often take place on. The cost of running on natural grass and artificial turf surfaces. From the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
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  • Running Surface

    Read the full-length article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research .

    Natural grass, artificial turf, and asphalted track are three surfaces that sporting events often take place on. When designing a facility to train athletes or host competitions, the surface of the area of play is often a primary concern. Does one of these surfaces have greater benefits to running performance than the others?

    A recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research compared asphalted track, natural grass, and two types of artificial turf to determine if one surface was more metabolically efficient than the others.

    Surprisingly, the cost of running was similar between the natural grass and artificial turfs with comparable shock absorption characteristics. The softer surface associated with natural grass may be counterbalanced by the increased hardness of the shoe sole of soccer or rugby boots.

    Likewise, the harder running surface of the asphalted track may be counterbalanced by the softer sole of running shoes. The perceived exertions reported by participants showed that running on the asphalted track surface was easier than the grass or turf surfaces, which may be due to differences in running style as opposed to the running surface.

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  • Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

    About the Author:

    NSCA Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

    The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research is the NSCA's scientific journal. This monthly publication prints original research information important to strength and conditioning practitioners. Many educational institutions, researchers, and professionals retain this journal as a valuable reference.

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  • Disclaimer: The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) encourages the exchange of diverse opinions. The ideas, comments, and materials presented herein do not necessarily reflect the NSCA’s official position on an issue. The NSCA assumes no responsibility for any statements made by authors, whether as fact, opinion, or otherwise. 
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