Leading athletics coach Ger Hartmann believes roadrunning can be dangerous. Rene Borg begs to differ

Rene Borg, Co-owner of athletic company Champions Everywhere and running technique coach, got in touch with the show earlier this week after hearing the piece with Ger Hartman and his thoughts about running on hard surfaces. Rene disagrees with a lot of what Ger says: For anyone learning how to run "we as coaches advocate they run on harder surfaces firstly and then progress to softer grass/trail surfaces when they are skilled enough to do so", he says. Other points made by Rene: • It’s much easy to instruct someone when they are running on the harder surface and they shouldn’t be afraid of doing so. • “Common knowledge” dictates that dirt and grass are better than asphalt, which is better than concrete - the idea behind the hierarchy is harder surfaces result in greater impact forces exerted on the body—including your knees—which could lead to immediate or overuse injuries. • It’s possible that running on harder surfaces increases the impact force when your foot hits the ground however, there’s not much evidence that it leads to injury any more than running on softer surfaces. • It’s all about your posture, the rhythm and pace at which you run at and the positioning of your foot when it hits the ground. • For first time runners, we suggest that you ask a friend to film you running and a coach can determine how your foot is striking the ground. • Once you’re a more established runner you can then introduce a variety of surfaces, obviously if you’re training for a particular event, you need to get in a significant amount of mileage on that surface but, it’s important you ease into it if it’s a surface you’re not used to. • The bottom line: When it comes to injury, researchers currently believe no single surface is better than another. • Concrete, for instance, is hard, but it’s typically consistent while the unpredictability of many grass and dirt surfaces can cause instant injuries. • But why do runners get injured or experience 'niggles' in the first place - It's nothing to do with the surface, weak core, muscle imbalances etc. The simple answer is it's their bad running technique. • Running on pavements, hard roads and surfaces does not cause injuries. Running badly on hard roads and even soft surfaces causes injuries. • This bad technique can be easily changed and we do it every day with injured runners or those looking to be more efficient. You can read Rene's blog at http://www.championseverywhere.com/road-running-blame