Wether you live near a beach or your summer vacation destination leads you to one, running on sand provides a soft running surface and the view just cant get any better.
Running on beach sand can be a little difficult, rather, very difficult but it doesnt have to be. Here are a tips to help you enjoy your beach runs just a little bit more.
Wait for low tide
This one is pretty self explanatory. Waiting for low tide to go for your run means that you can run on the harder sand that the ocean has so generously left behind for you. Staying close to the edge of the water, without getting your nice running shoes wet ofcourse, gives you the perfect surface to run on which is not to soft but soft enough to give you a smooth, heel-pain-free run. If you are a visitor to the area and are not to sure onw hat the tides are doing, look it up online or ask the local stores where you may find one. Most fishing stores can proide one or you can visit sites such as Magic Seaweed or Tides 4 Fishing.
Check the level of the beach
Some beaches have more slanted surfaces than others, but even the most level beaches have some slant to them. Running on an angled surface can can cause damage to your knees so make sure you run the same distance on both knees. So run the same route one direction and then the same route back again beacause it’s better to put both legs through the same pace than just one.
What if I cant go at low tide?
If you are pressed for time and cant make your run at low tide when the sand is compressed near the waters edge dont stress about it. Running in the softer sand can at times be a great yet seriously tough workout, especially for your calves which will be on fire by the time you are done. It goes without saying that your running time will be cut in half due to this but it saves time is a great kick in the butt workout.
Always remember the three S’s. Sunscreen, Sunglasses and Sun visor. It is vital that you protect yourself from the sun especially when running along the waters edge because of the reflective rays that bounce off the ocean as well as the hot summer sun above you. The next best gear tip is all about the shoes. Depending on the softness of the sand, most shoes will work but if you dont have water proof running shoes you may end up with a few wet blisters after your run. Most mesh shoes will work and to help even further, a thin synthetic sock works best to keep those feet dry. If that doesnt work for you and you still need some extra protection, you can always use a protective water proof lube such as Body Glide which helps a lot especially on longer runs. Click here for a list of water proof running shoes
Enjoy the scenary
Take advantage of wherever the beaches are in the area you either live or are visiting. Ask around for the best beach or simply go on a hunt but sometimes there is a hidden gem of a beach that would make any runners dreams come true so dont be scared to ask the local fitness shops for directions. The best part about running by the ocean is that after your run and your calves your burning, you can go for a swim. It may not help as much as an ice bath unless you are swimming the Atlantic in the Western Cape, but it sure does feel good and thank goodness for quick-drying run apparel.
So keep fit this holiday and take advantage of the beaches for your run. If you are a visitor to the beach and dont often get a chance to be near the coast get out there and start running because running on the beach can be one of the most fitness improving runs you can get.