Beach running can be one of the best parts of summer, but can also be quite challenging.
The mechanical work required to get through the sand, and the inefficiency of the work done by tendons and muscles due to the sand’s unpredictable surface, are some of the reasons that running on sand is so challenging. But, with some preparation, beach running can be enjoyable
- The Right Beach
Find a beach with good length, no slant, and good surface. There are a lot of things that could shorten your run such as, a jetty, a cliff, a river mouth, so check the length so that, you can have the long run you were anticipating. Some beaches have a slant to them, and this could cause injury if you run on it for a long period. The flatter, the better. Some beaches have a lot of rocks and shells that could be painful. Watch out for that, especially in you are running barefoot.
- Which Sand?
If you want a great workout, the soft sand is your answer. It has a lot of giving and will take 1.6 times more energy than pavement. The wet sand, or packed sand, is what’s left behind as the tide recedes and is much more firm.
- Check the Chart
If you want the wettest sand, make sure to go at low tide, or when the tide is receding.
- Barefoot or Shoes?
Wet sand is sturdy enough that you can run with shoes and not worry about sinking in. If you choose to go shoeless, do so with caution. Even after a short run, it could cause pain or injury.
- Be Cautious
Beach running is a workout that will “shock” your legs if they are used to the pavement. Especially, if you are barefoot so, don’t push your first limit on the sand.
- Solar Power
You are on the beach with the water right next to you to act as a reflector. This will make the sun really beam down on you.
- Natural Soundtrack
You may be used to running with music in your ears, but try running without it just this one time. The crashing ocean waves trump any playlist you put together.