Many of us have our running routes and that's what we stick with - over and over, week after week. Changing up your running route offers many incentives: a different view, a change of pace and importantly, the opportunity to run on a different surface. Switching up the surface you run on will give your body a break and hopefully elongate your running career!
We recommend that runners find different surfaces for their weekly runs as it gives your muscles and joints a break from all the pounding. Concrete (sidewalk) is the hardest surface and thus, most jarring on your joints. Pavement (asphalt) is a bit more giving and the better option over sidewalks if possible. If you have access to a dirt path or a grassy route - jump all over it! Running on earth (dirt, grass, trails) is less stressful and jarring to your joints but it will make your muscles work harder because the surface is uneven. It will strengthen your ankes and give you that extra boost when you return to pavement or concrete. Treadmills are the best option when the weather is bad and you cannot run outside. The smooth surface is easy on the legs.
In conclusion, switching up your running routes, and surfaces, will make your runs easier because there's a different focus, give your legs a break and work your muscles differently. Try out a new surface or route this week!