When you’re used to running on concrete footpaths, the minute you run on different terrain is the moment you realise what a difference the surface makes.
Running on concrete or asphalt
The constant impact as your feet pound the pavement can be quite hard on your knees and, overtime, cause stress fractures without the correct running shoes. For hitting the city streets, your shoes should have cushioning and shock-absorbing soles.
Running on sand
Running on the beach is often romanticised in movies. Clearly, whoever decided this was an easy task has never tried it. Your calves and the small muscles around your ankle work harder to keep your foot stable when running on sand. Start out keeping beach runs short and on the wet sand before attempting gruelling sand dune runs. Be sure to wear running shoes to avoid debris and reduce impact on your knees.
Running on grass
Grass is a softer surface and therefore reduces the chance of impact-related injuries associated with running on the pavement or sand. Grass running improves balance and burns more calories. Beginners should start out on flat, even areas like manicured parklands, soccer pitches or golf courses to get used to running on uneven terrain.