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7833 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Mar 30, 2010 7:42 PM by poppo101 RSS
RobSiragusa Amateur 12 posts since
Sep 28, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

Apr 30, 2009 8:38 AM

Which Side of the Road Do You Run On?

When I run I always run facing traffic. Given the fact that the road is higher in the middle this means my left leg has slightly further to go before hitting the road than my right leg. over time/miles I feel this could result in unequal leg development which could lead to injury. For this reason I sometimes run on the other side of the road to balance things out. this is dangerous given how distracted people are these days, so I only do it on desolate roads with the music turned down low. Does anyone else have any concerns over this, or is this something I should not think about?





Rob
www.MySpaceCodeZone.net

  • rebdomine Rookie 7 posts since
    May 5, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. May 5, 2009 7:46 PM (in response to RobSiragusa)
    Re: Which Side of the Road Do You Run On?

    Guess it all depends on how much shoulder there is.  If its a lot and you're wearing bright colors, it might be ok if you're extra extra careful, but I wouldn't want to risk it.

  • crl8686 Legend 1,293 posts since
    Nov 11, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. May 6, 2009 8:31 PM (in response to RobSiragusa)
    Re: Which Side of the Road Do You Run On?

    When there are no sidewalks, it is much safer to run facing traffic. Should a car or bike veer towards you, you can see them and move out of the way before they have the opportunity to cause an accident. Moreover, in some states (such as CA) the DMV requires pedestrians, including runners, to face traffic when there's no sidewalk. As for the crowned road, how about doing an out-and-back course instead of a loop?





    2014 highlights...

    @ 5K: Ontario Mills Run, Ontario, CA, 25:19

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    @ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker Run, Los Angeles, CA, 51:44

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  • crl8686 Legend 1,293 posts since
    Nov 11, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. May 7, 2009 6:52 PM (in response to RobSiragusa)
    Re: Which Side of the Road Do You Run On?

    No problem, thanks for the clarification. If one runs on a slanted surface, such as the side of a crowned road, the net effect on one's lower body is comparable to generating a leg length discrepancy. I am not a physical therapist, but I'm willing to bet that yes, over a period of time, the continued misalignment has the potential to lead to injuries. As for me, I run almost entirely on crowned roads and I do consider it a concern.





    2014 highlights...

    @ 5K: Ontario Mills Run, Ontario, CA, 25:19

    Angels Baseball Foundation 5K, Anaheim, CA, 24:15

    @ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker Run, Los Angeles, CA, 51:44

    Great Race of Agoura - Old Agoura 10K, Agoura Hills, CA, 50:31


  • Tel0004 Amateur 15 posts since
    Jun 24, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Jun 26, 2009 11:41 PM (in response to RobSiragusa)
    Re: Which Side of the Road Do You Run On?

     

    Here is one study (http://people.umass.edu/jhamill/PDF/OConnor_Hamill_2002.pdf) (PDF) that says there probably isn't a problem.  It doesn't seem too conclusive.  I wouldn't worry about it too much.  If it was a known problem, i'm sure more people would know about it.

     

     

    I think running on the correct side is much safer than running on the wrong side. and I would even think running on a cambered road is better than running on a concrete sidewalk.

     

     

    Running on trails is always good, its a nice change of pace, and less shock also. 

     

     

    I run on a bike path (more so to avoid cars than anything else), and the bike path is slightly sloped, but not cambered, so it balances out since I run out and back.  Maybe there is something like that close to you as well)

     

     

  • JulieAckerman Rookie 2 posts since
    Dec 1, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Dec 1, 2009 11:50 AM (in response to RobSiragusa)
    Re: Which Side of the Road Do You Run On?

    Having just been professionally fitted for proper running shoes, i can tell you that, yes, this will, over time, cause injury.  Obviously, a subtle variation in incline is not detrimental, but over time it will affect your joints, as the pro told me.





    JA

  • Ellsbird1 Pro 67 posts since
    Jun 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Dec 1, 2009 12:51 PM (in response to RobSiragusa)
    Re: Which Side of the Road Do You Run On?

    I've actually been thinking a lot about this because I've been having a bear of a time with my hip flexors and I think running on a sloped surface is part of the problem.  I am new to running - under one year.  When I first started running, I was on the sidewalk which meant my right leg was lower than my left.  I started getting bad hip flexor pain on my left side.  Then I moved to running in the road against traffic and my left leg is lower than my right due to the slope toward the gutters.  My left hip flexor cleared up and now my right is the main problem.  FYI, an out and back course does not change anything if you are always running against traffic  - your right leg will always be closer to the gutter.  Overall, the asphalt feels better to run on than the sidewalk, but I do try to mix it up so that I at least get some "high action" on the left side inorder to give my right side a break.  That is to say, I will not run "with" traffic unless on a neighborhood side street or on the sidewalk, so that is the exception to the rule.

     

    With the addition of more distance and speed workouts, pretty much both my hip flexors are sucking right now anyway!





    "I'd rather wear out than rust out."

    - Harlan Sanders (Col. Sanders)

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,273 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Dec 1, 2009 3:06 PM (in response to RobSiragusa)
    Re: Which Side of the Road Do You Run On?

    This is one of those issues that everyone figures is a problem with little in the way of hard evidence.  The study cited above found that there is a difference between the two feet in the initial angle of impact, the rate of pronation and the amount of pronation.  These are all things that affect how the rest of your leg absorbs the motion and shock of running.  They also found there is no difference in the impact shock between the two feet.  They concluded that "running on a cambered road caused changes in rearfoot motion kinematics that may predispose an individual to injury".  It doesn't mean you will get injured.  It depends on how well your body adapts to the differences.  They obviously didn't test to the point of injury.

     

    My personal experience:  I have run for many years, a large percentage on sidewalks, most of the rest on cambered roads.  The only injuries I've had that I can attribute to running resulted from pushing too hard in races.

     

    Len





    Len

  • jgiedt Rookie 7 posts since
    Oct 17, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Dec 2, 2009 10:24 AM (in response to RobSiragusa)
    Re: Which Side of the Road Do You Run On?

    I absolutely think about this. Most of my miles are pre-dawn in quite neighborhoods. At these times, I usually run very near the center of the road where the crown if flatter. I'll move over when traffic approaches (from either direction) and then migrate back towards center. There are a couple stretches of road on some of my runs where I cannot avoid a pretty acute slope. I just deal with it. I've never noticed any injury that can be attributed to this, but certainly some discomfort on the more obvious slopes.

     

    Someone mentioned running an out and back route. That would make sense, but you'd have to be on the "wrong" side of the road during one leg for that strategy to work.

     

    cheers-jg

  • msdlou Amateur 8 posts since
    Nov 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Dec 2, 2009 10:32 AM (in response to RobSiragusa)
    Re: Which Side of the Road Do You Run On?

    Somehow I manage to run on the side of the road where there is more terrain and obstacles to overcome. Usually the sidewalk, but I just like to get used to running on different scenaries to give myself an upper hand at any track field or terrain given. Hence, it also improves my endurance seeing that hills or uneven grounds require an extra push of energy to get through. I just find it more enjoyabloe and safer on the side though at night, I have to go to the center to avoid being eaten by a bear or coyote.





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  • poppo101 Rookie 5 posts since
    Jan 13, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Mar 30, 2010 7:42 PM (in response to msdlou)
    Re: Which Side of the Road Do You Run On?

    One answer I haven't seen is this. If you run a loop, run facing traffic which is the safest way to run, and then the next time out, reverse the loop. You can still run facing traffic but you are on the opposite side of the road. This is what I have been doing. I have a 1.6 mile loop in the neighborhood that one day I run one direction and the next time run the opposite direction. Same roads, opposite side each time. This eliminates the slope issue.

     

    Bill

     

    Next up - W3D3

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