Beach Running Tips: How To Run In The Sand
Summertimes screams spending time at the beach. And for us, it means going for a run in the sand.
Beach running is lots of fun, but it can be really hard to do. Try running in the sand and the runner will notice they are extremely slow and it takes a whole lot of energy to even move.
The good news is it actually is a harder workout, meaning more calories burned along with increased strength. After running in the sand, hitting the pavement will feel like a breeze.
For those attempting to try out a run in the sand for the first time, there are some beach running tips. These are even great to know for those who have successfully gotten in a beach run or two.
Find The Right Sand Spot
Running in the sand is hard work. This is because doing so require more stabilizing compared to road and trail running.
So the best beach running tip all runners should know is where exactly to run to be as efficient as possible. This comes down to the softness of the sand.
Athletes should run in soft sand, not the hard packed sand near the water.
Yes, it is easier to run near the shore on the hard sand because the feet aren’t sinking so much. When the feet sink, it’s harder to push off and move forward.
But this harder sand is typically on an incline. The unevenness of the tilt can cause an ever harder workout and be more stress on one leg compared to the other. The body will feel off centered and this can throw off form.
Too soft of sand means that deep sinking, which means more work for the leg muscles like the calves. Expect to tire quickly.
Find the right softness of the sand and follow this path. Think not on the hard sand, but maybe just where it levels out and starts to get soft.
Another good tip is running in a zig-zag to be able to navigate through the sand.
Run For Time
The one thing runners quickly realize when going for a beach run in the sand is that they are exhausted way before they reach their anticipated mileage.
Start with 10-minute increments. The first time, aim to run 10-minutes on the sand. A good idea is to first warm-up with dynamic stretches and then run on the roads or boardwalk near the beach.
This gets the muscles warm and ready for the hardest part of the workout: the sand.
Then run 10-minutes on the sand.
Next time, aim for 20-minutes on the sand. Work up to 30-minutes instead of 3-miles.
Wear Shoes In The Sand
Barefoot at the beach vs. shoes in the sand. This is a debate many runners have.
A good tip when starting running in the sand is to wear shoes. This is because the ankles need stability when trekking in this terrain.
The more the runner gets used to running in the sand, then they can consider going barefoot. Give the ankles and feet the support it needs and then kick them off and enjoy feeling toes in sand once used to these types of runs.
Invest In Good Socks
The problem with wearing sneakers in the sand is, well, sand. Sand slipping into the shoes can cause blisters and just straight up feels uncomfortable.
Prevent sand from seeping into the shoes by wearing socks that are higher cut at the ankle.
Invest in good moisture-wicking socks for runs to prevent blisters. Because it gets hot running on the beach, opt for thinner socks that are breathable.
Pick A Clean Beach
The runner wants to pick the perfect beach for running. When on vacation, this might not really be a choice. However, there might be areas that are smoother, less rocky or filled with shells, and cleaner than others.
Find out which beaches are the best. The runner doesn’t want to be dodging garbage.
Doing homework on the beach also includes knowing if the sand is more on tilt or if it is mostly flat.
Start With Once A Week
Another great tip to running on the beach is knowing how often to do it. Because of these type of workout, it’s best to just start off with running in the sand once a week.
Slowly build up to three times a week max. If running this much in the sand, make sure to take rest days off in between.
It takes time to build up small foot muscles needed for sand running, so be careful with overuse. Running at the beach should be used as a great way to switch up runs and when looking for a tougher workout.
Bring Water And Electrolytes
These runs get hot fast. Runners can sweat a lot and risk dehydration. This is the reason why water should be on hand. Properly hydrate throughout the runs and use sports nutrition products when necessary.
Protect From The Sun
Yes, we want to enjoy all that the beach has to offer. And this includes the sun. But too much sun can be harmful.
Besides dehydration, too much sun puts the skin at risk for sunburn and other skin issues.
To avoid this, make sure to properly protect from harmful sun rays. This includes using SPF 50 or higher. Wear a hat or visor and sunglasses to keep the sun from the face.
Wear lightweight, moisture-wicking workout clothes to keep cool, but go with long sleeves or capri pants for those with sensitive skin.
Avoid the peak hours of the sun, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Instead, run on the beach early in the morning or get that run in the sand in when the sun starts to set. Doing so makes the run even better because of the scenic view.
- Everything You Need to Know About Running in the Sand, Running Blog ,