Running on grass, good or bad?


Quick question, with regard to injuries, is running on grass a good or bad thing. Is there any truth in the notion that grass is kinder to the joints therefore there is less chance of injury.


  • I much prefer running off road on grass and trails. It is certainly more forgiving than pounding the roads, but there is always the chance that you could twist an ankle if you don't watch where you are placing your feet. Having said that, off road running does bring into play more muscles as you are constantly breaking stride, and this in turn does strengthen them, thus reducing the risk of injury. Give grass a try and I'm sure you "will be hooked." Good Luckimage
  • Thankyou, atm i do a mixture of tarmac and grass. The local park during the day, tarmac at night.
  • Never run stoned guy...ran drunk once...never stoned....get all floppy and end up eating all your energy bar in one go.


  • Sounds like some of you have decent pavements round your way if you find grass fields more uneven. I run cross country when I can because the paths and tracks are in far better condition.

  • Try and find a football or cricket or rugby pitch etc. near to your house.

    They may not be perfectly flat, but, they will be in better condition than just any old field!

    I am not saying go break into Wembley or Twickenham though lol! There must be a park or grass area near to you with a couple of football goals erected, maybe where a team plays every other Sunday or so.

    Then use google earth to measure out the distance of the path you plan to take, Ie. around the outside of the pitch, then just do laps!

    The field I run around is big enough for 3 football pitches. On Google Earth, it shows 2. But at the moment in the real world there is only 1 and it is facing a different way to the ones in the ariel photo of Google Earth so I wouldn't be able to get a true distance from it unless I take a tape measure with me (not going to happen!). There are trees that circle the field/park and a path aswel, so I measured (on Google Earth) the perimeter of this, and simply run around it by the trees, so come August, if they change the football pitch again for the new season, I will still have my already planned running route and wont turn up one morning to a shock!

  • If you're training for a race, you should also try to include at least some of your training on the relevant surface. If you're racing a road HM and do all of your training on grass, you'll reduce the risk of injury during training but won't be prepared for the shock of the race, and it could spell disaster. This applies doubly so for a marathon!

    Grass is more forgiving and develops different types of muscles to tarmac, so having a mixture of the two can only be a good thing. image
  • I like to run trails more than tarmac for the same reason as Terence, it brings into play more muscles.

    Its also more interesting. and if its hilly, harder too, so when you get back to tarmac, its easy!

    Even if you are racing on tarmac, Bruce Tulloh says you should do the majority of your training off road as the impact is less. (whether everyone will agree with that i don't know!)

  • I find running on grass great and sometimes run barefoot this is very good for running economy and helps you to run more efficiently but start at 5 minutes at a time and build up slowly two to three tomes a week as it takes Time for your feet and calfs to strenghen. But when u run with trainers on you will run faster over time just relax and enjoy it!
  • Why stop at grass? Did some good hill reps in mud this morning. I would have to travel 6.5km to my nearest football field, so I'll stick to proper off road running. (Always the risk of twisted ankles, though)

  • I have done a few runs around the local golf course, this time of year is perfect cause in gets dark early, meaning you can head out in the evening when its empty. When you run tee to green for each hole then clocking up 4.5 - 5 miles is easy.

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    I do several miles each day on a local golf course along with trails through the woods. I avoid roads if at all possible. But here's the twist. I prefer racing on roads, not XC. 

  • I much prefer running off road.. grass, tracks, trails to tarmac. I like the constant change in surface and I feel I run lighter on those surfaces than roads. 

    Running on a golf course would be ideal.. proper exercise too! image

  • Rod Wallace wrote (see)

    I have done a few runs around the local golf course, this time of year is perfect cause in gets dark early, meaning you can head out in the evening when its empty. When you run tee to green for each hole then clocking up 4.5 - 5 miles is easy.

    Best to take your X-Country spikes off before running on the greens though.

    Seriously though, do you run on the fairways?  If so, do you think that's fair? 

  • U can run in minimal footwear with a flat heel this will protect your feet while reducing your risk of injury the overly padded trainers of today are bad for your joints and are a big marketing ripp off as they don't give you appropriate feedback. So u tend to run with very poor running form and incorrectly this is what causes many injures running barefoot or with minimal footwear allows you to run with good form and injury free I am proof of that!
  • Off road running is also much more fun and you don't have to worry about careless car drivers when running on the road and is also forgicing on the joints
  • I meant forgiving but like one person said some off road on rough trails can be dodgy and u can easily twist your ankle so be aware!
  • I also run on the road at times of the week like after work during the week but try and run off road at the weekend during daylight so I do a mix but prefer off road
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