I haven't gone on a wild, drug and alcohol fueled adventure in Las Vegas. I am spending four days in quite possibly the worst city to try and get a good run in. If you're staying on the strip, all that lays before you and your feet are concrete. It is the worst surface imaginable to run on. Plus in Vegas, there's navigating the pedestrians and the various crazed taxi drivers.
The point of this blog is to talk about concrete and avoiding it at all costs. Asphalt is much easier on your joints than concrete. In fact, Arthur Lydiard, the late great New Zealand coach, who invented the concept of long, slow distance, preferred that his athletes train on asphalt over grass or dirt trails. Now that one may leave you scratching your head. Here's Lydiard's reasoning, footing.
Lydiard wanted his runners on a smooth, reliable surface, especially if they were doing a tempo run.
Grass or dirt trails rarely offer reliable footing, unless you're running on a golf course. Think about all of the crazy angles your feet end up at when running on a trail or on a cross country course. It's hard on your muscles, tendons and joints. Unless you train regularly on trails, running them on a whim will provide your body with a shock.
As for Las Vegas, I always head south off the strip and into the neighborhoods. There are less people to deal with and a lot less traffic. I actually found the University of Nevada Las Vegas track on my five mile run today and may make the 2 mile trek to it for a softer, safer, monotonous run on the tartan there.