Rubberized Track vs. Asphalt/Concrete

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by Justin Lamb, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. Justin Lamb Barefooters
    1. Washington

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Message Count:
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    Is it my imagination or does it take more effort to run on a rubberized, soft track? My pace is usually slower on a track yet I feel like I'm working much harder. Is this because it doesn't cause as much rebound as a hard surface?

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  2. Dan Krulewich Barefooters

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2014
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    I hadn't thought about the effort level, but I have avoided running on rubberized track, because I find they generate much more friction against your feet.
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  3. SI barefoot Barefooters

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2014
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    Yeah, the softer the surface the more potential energy that is lost.
  4. JEFF CT Chapter Presidents
    1. Connecticut
    2. Presidents

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2013
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    With the rubberized track, I feel the pores and it has taken some time to get used to. The colder it is, well, actually, it wasnt that much worse. But it is worse in the cold. For these tracks, reclaimed shoes are often used, so do what you will with that information.

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  5. paraganek Barefooters
    1. Oregon
    2. Czech & Slovak...

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    Makes sense. :cool:

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  6. Justin Lamb Barefooters
    1. Washington

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Message Count:
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    Okay, so I'm not crazy. (Or maybe it's that I'm not the only crazy one...? ;))

    I don't mind the pointy/porous surface feel of the track. However, now that I'm used to running without shoes on harder surfaces, running on a track feels similar to running in normal/modern running shoes - so squishy!

    I don't mind using the track for the sake of mixing things up a bit but I will say that going around and around and around again is about as interesting as watching paint dry. ;)

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  7. paraganek Barefooters
    1. Oregon
    2. Czech & Slovak...

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    Right on. Hit some trails instead. Plenty of them in Washington state, am I right ? ;)

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  8. Sid Barefooters

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  9. Justin Lamb Barefooters
    1. Washington

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Message Count:
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    Oh, yes. Lots of them. I don't have as much time as I'd like to get out on the trails though.

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  10. scedastic Barefooters

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2011
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    I would think this is a less extreme version of the difference between running on muddy grass, or slushy wet snow, and cleared pavement. In the slush, I work like crazy for what feels like zero forward progress, whereas on plowed, smooth road, it's easy to go.
    Also, I feel like my FEET work harder the softer the surface, whereas my LEGS work hardest on a harder surface. In other words, too much grass/mud/squishy surface for too many days in a row, and I can get a little TOFP or just sore foot muscles, whereas there is no such effect on a firmer surface.
    Does that make sense to anyone?
  11. scedastic Barefooters

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2011
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    One last thought: I do think there is a bit of difference in form on squishy surfaces, at least for me, but I can't decide whether it's from the softness or the work I have to do not to slip and slide. I notice it most while transitioning (ex: running on snowy slushy trails when I encounter some cleared pavement for a few hundred yards. the first few steps of the transition onto flat hard pavement make a lot of noise, then they quiet back down, as though I've been putting down my feet more heavily in the slushy stuff).
  12. paraganek Barefooters
    1. Oregon
    2. Czech & Slovak...

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2010
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    Exactly, have been noticing the same thing for some time. There is quite a bit of adjustment I feel the body is making automatically when switching abruptly from a soft muddy trail to a hard pavement and back.

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  13. OneBiteAtATime Barefooters
    1. Missouri
    2. Illinois

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2013
    Message Count:
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    The harder the surface of an all weather track, the faster.

    Of course, I haven't ran on a track in 19 years.

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  14. Chaserwilliams Barefooters

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2010
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    I don't notice a difference in pace between a synthetic rubber track and some good crisp asphalt.

    But I can tell a difference in the 2. On asphalt you know when your foot hits the ground and is at the bottom of your"cycle", on a softer surface this is harder to establish.

    The longest I've ran on a track is 25 miles, the longest on asphalt was just shy of 27. The longest in muddy, squishy trails was 50.

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