Running on the beach can be an amazing workout that can benefit you in several ways that a jog just through the neighborhood or on a path in the woods can’t. However, there are several things to consider before you get out and run along a strip of sand. There are many reasons why you should run every day, and running along the beach provides not only a great work-out, but a magnificent view. From the weather to the ocean to the sand itself, here are our five top tips for running on the beach.
1.Select the Right Strip of Beach
Beaches vary considerably in several aspects. Some beaches are more rocky or full of seashells than others. Some beaches have slopes. Some sand is dry and harder to run through, while some sand is wet and thus more firmly packed and easier to run over. According to a 1998 Belgian study, running over soft, dry sand requires 1.6x as much energy output as running on a hard surface such as a sidewalk or jogging path. This extra energy needed means that your legs, knees, and feet will be worked more when you run through the sand. If you are looking for extra resistance, choose the dry sand. If, however, you are looking for more of a relaxing run along the beach, be sure to choose wet sand, which will help you keep a firmer footing as you go along.
2.Check the Tide
If you look for the top tips for running on the beach anywhere on the internet, one of the most important things you will find is to be sure the coast is clear not just for your run to somewhere, but also for the way back. Check where the water reaches when the tide is high and either do you run during low tide or chart a course where high tide won’t reach. A common mistake people make when running on the beach is to choose a path while the tide is low and then get stuck unable to return during high tide.
3.Take It Easy
Unless you are running in a competition with prize money on the line, don’t overwork your body. As mentioned before, running on the beach requires more effort than normal surfaces. This means that you are likely to get fatigued sooner. Start slow and work up to a faster pace if you feel comfortable. Looking for a beach with sand dunes may seem appealing if you enjoy resistance running, but bear in mind that running over sloped sandy surfaces can increase the risk of injury to your hips, knees, and ankles.
As part of our top tips for running on the beach, we want to remind you to consider where you are. Not all beaches are located in warm tropical climates, so if you do decide to brave chilly weather, keep in mind that wind is stronger by the ocean than further inland and wear a windbreaker. If the day happens to be hot and you will have exposed skin, remember to put on sunscreen as both water and sand reflect sunlight and any unprotected areas could get burned. Sunburn is not only uncomfortable, but also a risk factor for developing skin cancer.
5.Wear the Right Shoes
You may opt to run on the beach bare-footed, but we wouldn’t recommend it. Running barefoot can cause fatigue to set in faster in the ankles, Achilles tendon, calf muscles, and the top of the feet and also increase risk of injury to the knees. Due to the increased resistance of running on sand, our top tips for running on the beach recommend that you get the right pair of shoes. You can do this by going to any local footwear shops and inquiring about supportive footwear or if you want to save time and money, type “shoes for plantar fasciitis 2020” into an Internet search for the latest models that will help you with heel support, breathability, and in correcting over-pronation.
So, there you have it – our five top tips for running on the beach. Whether you are a habitual runner or just looking for a casual stroll along the beach, running near the waves provides a splendid ambience that simply cannot be beat. However, due to the difference in running on a beach versus a hard surface more inland, extra precautions should be taken to ensure your work-out is a safe one.