I've always run on trails and roads each week. But I predominantly ran on roads for many years. I made a point to hit the trails every weekend at least once to get a trail run in.
Since leaving my job, I've had more time to run over the past year or so. Now the tide has turned. I mostly run on rail trails near my house. This brings up an interesting dilemma. What's the right balance between both surfaces?
Trails provide a much softer surface and therefore are kinder to your body. However, technical trails, with stones, roots and all types of things to trip on, can put a runner at risk, especially if that person has any historical injuries. Rail trails are typically much more manicured and have far less trip hazards.
Road running, on asphalt, provides a nice flat surface with little to trip on, aside from curbs and garbage people toss out their windows onto the streets. But running on a hard surface beats the body up and can lead to stress fractures and other injuries because it is so rigid.
Most races are on roads. My opinion is that to race well you need to train on roads at least part of the time. What is the right percentage of road/trail to run on each week to stay healthy, in shape and injury free?
What's your opinion? Feel free to elaborate on your reasoning, whether it's from experience or just how you feel.
Thanks for sharing.