Thanks to my chiro I’ve been slowly recovering from a long-bout of patellar tendonitis that had kept me from any consistent running workouts for the past 2 months. I’ve been slowly working my way back in to running, upping my volume and intensity and mainly staying on soft surfaces. Yesterday I did a running workout in a field by my house. Sometimes, I’ll run on the fake-grass / turf field where I work. Both offer superior shock-absorbing capabilities than a rubberized track, asphalt, or concrete and provide a good transitional surface while my knee recovers. Similarly, I always have my sprinters do their tempo workouts on grass or fake-grass fields to reduce wear-and-tear on their legs.
The main difference is the regularity of the surface. Turf and fake-grass fields tend to be perfectly regular and for the most part flat surfaces. Grass fields on the other hand tend to have mini-hills, divots, and various other irregularities. While running on grass yesterday the question of whether one surface was better than another. Turf offers regularity of surface and the potential for decreased likelihood of injuries (like ankle sprains) that it might provide. On the other hand, the variability of the grass (assuming it isn’t ridiculous like a divot filled hammer throw or shot put sector) may reduce the likelihood of overuse injuries because no foot contact is exactly the same. I personally don’t know the answer to this question but I do remember back in the day when I used to run trails for cross country, that I always had the feeling that the irregularity of the trails was great for ankle and knee stability / joint health. Thoughts?