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I have a question for runners...Just curious

Old 05-23-14, 06:39 PM
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VeloNewbie
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I have a question for runners...Just curious

Ok, I really hope not to piss anyone off. I enjoy running a little myself but I don't consider myself a runner. I'm just curious, why do runners run in the street? I ride my road bike in the road because where I live, you can't ride on the sidewalk. But runners can run on the sidewalk so why don't they? I'M JUST CURIOUS! I'm not trying to start a smart-ass, flaming thread. Please give reasons. Thanks
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Old 05-23-14, 08:19 PM
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I'm not a runner either, but back when I had a big dog I would run with her occasionally. Once or twice I recall that she would slow down to sniff of something and about the time I turned to look behind me and pull on the leash I would trip on an offset joint in the sidewalk. So maybe runners don't think the sidewalks are safe enough.
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Old 05-23-14, 08:35 PM
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Road asphalt is supposed to be easier on a runner's knees than sidewalk concrete because it is a softer surface.

I have also seen runners run in the bike lane if the sidewalk is crowded with pedestrians.
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Old 05-23-14, 08:43 PM
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For me there are 3 reasons, they are plowed and salted in the winter, less buggy in the summer, and have no branches, kids, parked cars and stuff to get in your way.
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Old 05-24-14, 05:47 AM
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I have watched high school runners in packs do their cross country workouts on the bike lanes. Not a good idea.
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Old 05-24-14, 06:04 AM
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I have been a runner since age 16 and while I know some people swear the road asphalt is easier on the knees, I think safety should be the number one consideration, and I always run on the sidewalk (if there is one).
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Old 05-24-14, 07:28 AM
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Used to run. I would run in the streetside bikelane since there was less stuff in the way (signposts, utility poles, trees, etc). If a bike was approching I'd jump onto the sidewalk, but get back into the bikelane when they had passed.
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Old 05-24-14, 10:25 AM
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Not a runner, but a runner friend of mine says it's because the road is flatter- no ups and downs off curbs and driveways.
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Old 05-24-14, 10:46 AM
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What I want to know is why people walk in the street when there's a sidewalk a few feet away from them.
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Old 05-24-14, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by VeloNewbie View Post
Ok, I really hope not to piss anyone off. I enjoy running a little myself but I don't consider myself a runner. I'm just curious, why do runners run in the street? I ride my road bike in the road because where I live, you can't ride on the sidewalk. But runners can run on the sidewalk so why don't they? I'M JUST CURIOUS! I'm not trying to start a smart-ass, flaming thread. Please give reasons. Thanks
I'm not a runner but would guess the reason is much the same as the reason I usually ride on the road rather than on segregated bike paths - if I want to get somewhere I don't want to be dealing with extra debris on the ground or sharing the space with pedestrians, children, dogs, old people etc.
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Old 05-24-14, 12:17 PM
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I don't mind sharing the side of the road with runners as long as they are coming at me.

I really get irked at a pedestrian showing me their back as I ride toward them and if they are listening to earbuds and can't hear my approach warning it really pisses me off.

Why any body would run when you can ride is one of Life's Great Mysteries.
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Old 05-24-14, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
Why any body would run when you can ride is one of Life's Great Mysteries.
Unlike cycling, running is a weight bearing exercise that doesn't require a whole lot of extra equipment.
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Old 05-31-14, 08:04 PM
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Mostly I find it easier to run on the street to avoid walking pedestrians. I'm in a vaguely suburban area where the streets are plenty wide enough to ensure I'm safely out of the way of the oncoming traffic. Keeps me from having to dodge and weave quite so much. Of course, this is only if I'm too lazy to head to the park for a proper trail run.
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Old 06-03-14, 02:18 PM
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street is safer. you don't have to worry about tripping over a curb or a broken sidewalk, or tree root. then there's the possibility of hyper-extension when striding over a high curb to an unexpectedly lower street surface, all while you are trying to see and gauge auto traffic. personally i don't do any of that anymore, it's either the HS track or the gym treadmill ... so much safer
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Old 06-03-14, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by CbadRider View Post
Road asphalt is supposed to be easier on a runner's knees than sidewalk concrete because it is a softer surface.
I used to do marathons.... now too old and fat but in the day I always ran in the street... asphalt is easier on the legs/knees. In addition, sidewalks have cracks, defects, little ups and downs, kids, pedestrians etc. Think if you had to ride your bike on the sidewalk... when I had my "run" on, I could fly in the street...
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Old 06-03-14, 04:30 PM
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Often have a hard time fitting my double jogging stroller down the sidewalk at speed. The sidewalks tend to be more broken up, which sucks, especially with the jogger. Asphalt is easier on knees, although the camber of the road ain't great for em either.
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Old 06-03-14, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by CbadRider View Post
Road asphalt is supposed to be easier on a runner's knees than sidewalk concrete because it is a softer surface.

I have also seen runners run in the bike lane if the sidewalk is crowded with pedestrians.
It is. In some places sidewalks will also have irregularities that are not significant when walking, but are for running. And if the sidewalks involve stepping down from a curb that can be a problem.

But dirt and grass are better still and many runners refuse to use that when available.

I think for many it is a be seen thing. (In college I would train by running the cross country course. Aside from other Rugby players and or course the cross country guys the only person I ever say was one baseball player. Yet there were plenty of joggers in the streets).

But to be fair asphalt may be a pretty good compromise that reduces damage without increasing the effort. Runners seem to obsess on mileage.

EDIT: Safety is a double edged sword. One hardly wants to stop or even slow at each intersection. A real runner is pretty close to a cyclist that comes flying off the sidewalk into the intersection.

Still a real cross country course is best of all, but I can hardly fault a runner for running to the nice part of the run.

Last edited by Keith99; 06-03-14 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 06-03-14, 07:09 PM
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I miss running.. Shin splints put an end to that about 3 years ago.
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Old 06-03-14, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by VeloNewbie View Post
Ok, I really hope not to piss anyone off. I enjoy running a little myself but I don't consider myself a runner. I'm just curious, why do runners run in the street? I ride my road bike in the road because where I live, you can't ride on the sidewalk. But runners can run on the sidewalk so why don't they? I'M JUST CURIOUS! I'm not trying to start a smart-ass, flaming thread. Please give reasons. Thanks
Most of the reason's have been mentioned. Research has proven that sidewalks(if made with cement) is much harder and less forgiving. If you don't believe that run for 5 minutes on cement and then run for 5 minutes on asphalt. Especially on a warm day. As a result, this leads to many more injuries. And finally, as mentioned it is just safer.

And to address the question posed by ahsposo: Why would anyone run when they could ride?

I say, why would anyone ride "IF" they could run. Other then riding which causes fewer injuries, running is much cheaper, less time consuming, can train anywhere and in most weather, is more effective cardio training, is more effective for building bone strength, is much safer when running on the street then biking on streets, to improve, it's ALL on you, not you and your bike, for folks of normal weight, running is a more effective weight loss activity, and I spend much more time on my bike maintainance then on my running shoes.

Last edited by jbenkert111; 06-03-14 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 06-03-14, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
But dirt and grass are better still and many runners refuse to use that when available.



Still a real cross country course is best of all, but I can hardly fault a runner for running to the nice part of the run.
Yeah, trail running is ideal. But sometimes time constraints being what they are, you just gotta run out the front door and do a quick 5k or so thru town.
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