Running on the beach to the soundtrack of crashing waves and fresh sand beneath your feet sounds down-right refreshing, and it is, if you are prepared. Running on the beach works your muscles in a different way than running on the road. Beaches are uneven, often sloping at the water’s edge, and this requires your muscles to work in a different way. Plus all beaches are not created equal. There are benefits to running on the beach such as getting fresh air, less pounding on your joints and a tranquil landscape, but being aware of a few minimal drawbacks will ensure your beach run is as magical in real-life as it is in your dreams. Living four miles from the beach, I have logged a few miles running of the beach and am happy to share my tips with you.
Check out the tide schedule.
You’ll be racing the waves if you are running on the beach at high tide, so be sure to plan your run for low tide.
Shoes or no shoes?
There are benefits and drawbacks to both. You will gain more traction barefoot, but sprains and twists are also more common. There is no chance of getting your shoes and socks wet if you go barefoot. I hate running in soggy shoes, yet I typically run with my shoes.
Run near the water’s edge because the sand is more firm.
The wet sand forms a sturdy foundation for your footing; however, beware that many times this area slopes in one direction. For a deeper burn, run in the loose sand farther away from the water but be careful as sprains and twists are more common on this part of the beach.
Beware of holes, fishing line and children running from the water to the beach.
If you are lucky enough to run on a secluded beach, which usually means running at sunrise, you’ll have less of these to worry about but that isn’t always the case. Children don’t typically look before they run so you need to do so especially if you are running near the water. Speaking of children, they love to dig holes at the beach without filling them back up with sand. I’ve stepped in a few unexpected holes. Talking about unexpected, have you ever run into fishing line? Be careful to note fishermen and run behind them.
Prepare for the sun. Wear plenty of sunblock, a hat and sunglasses.
This running on the beach tip goes without saying, but save getting your tan for lying on the beach versus running. After all, do you really want tan lines from your sports bra or running shorts?
Do you prefer to run on the beach, trails or the road? If you run on the beach, what do you prefer to where shoes or go barefoot?