Running along the beach is a good idea. In theory. If you are a running enthusiast, then you’ve probably fantasized about catching an early morning sunrise on a morning run at the beach. Well, it is not that easy. At least not without a set of tips to keep you safe from soreness or even injury.
Now, we understand the importance of running. We just don’t want you to go into it unprotected. For this reason, we have come up with a set of tips that will make your beach running not just safe but fun and one that you’d want to do over and over again.
The article will be covering 6 most important tips that anyone intending to do a run by the beach needs to know. We shall be explaining the following tips in depth;
- Wearing Beach Shoes
- Maintaining a gradual transition
- Maintain a packed running track
- Listen to your body
- Apply Sunscreen
Tips for Running at the Beach
Wearing Beach Shoes
It doesn’t matter whether you prefer or you’re used to running barefooted, wearing beach shoes is the most important thing to do before running along the beach. See, there are lots of rubbles on and under the sand that can cause great damage to your feet. So, just forget your traditions for once and put on some beach shoes. You will be doing yourself a huge favor by the way. Injuring your feet early in the morning is not something you want to be dealing with at the beach. Plus, if you are running in the morning, which is the best time to run anyway, then the ground will be chilled. You do not want to know how it feels to step on a chilled ground in the morning.
There are lots of options when it comes to beach shoes. So, you have no excuse at all not to have shoes on while running at the beach. You can either bring a pair of your normal running shoes or you could buy sporty beach shoes. The best part about sports beach shoes is that they can serve you across a wide range of beach activities, which means that the problem of having to change to different shoes is taken care of.
Maintaining a gradual transition
This advice should hit hard on professional runners or anyone else who is not a newbie in beach activities. At first, it is going to seem like you have all the juice to take on a sprint at the beach. Well, take it slow. Professional trainers recommend starting slow and advancing at a gradual rate. Preferably, you should start with a simple walk at the beach then go ahead and increase the speed.
The point is, do not just jump into a run the first time you heat the beach for a jog. It is going to do more good than harm to your body in general. If anything, it will improve the stability of your core and have a much less impact on your joints.
Even if you are a professional runner and you are used to running really fast or long distances, soft sand is completely new ground and it can injure your calves and ankles. Start with walks along the beach for two to three days after which you can graduate to short runs of not more than 15 minutes. By the time you are running a complete sprint, it should be at least a week down the line. This way, you will go through the whole process without harming your core, ankles, or calves.
Maintain a packed Running track
Make it a habit to be running on packed sand near the water as it offers a surface friendly enough to your feet. Unlike the surface towards the dunes, packed sand is harder and often cooler since it is closer to the water. The problem with the sand further away from the water is that it is softer and creates resistance to the feet when running. Also gets quite heated during the day, which could bring about a certain level of discomfort to the feet. However, there is a challenge when running on packed sand at the beach. The ground is usually sloppy. To solve this, it is advisable to practice switching directions. This way, you will prevent the slope from causing an imbalance in the alignment of your body.
Listen to your body
This phrase is as old as it gets especially to those who are fond of working out. Well, things aren’t different at the beach. If anything, you need to be extra cautious when working out at the beach because this is a natural environment. When we say listen to your body, what we mean is that you should leave behind your Garmin and rely fully on your senses to tell you when your heart is beating too fast or your body temperature is too high.
Listening to your body means you are in touch with everything that is happening within you. Just not literally. Remember, you are exercising in an environment where your body is not used to exercising. So, it is important that you go as easy as you possibly can. You do not want to strain your muscles in any way. Plus, there is no one to impress at the beach. Remember, the sand creates more resistance than usual, which means both your legs and core are going to work a little harder than usual. Also, given the high temperatures at the beach, the body will be overworked. So, it won’t be such a smart idea for you to rely on gadgets for your vitals.
As much as it may seem like a basic requirement or common knowledge, you’d be surprised at how many people are going to forget about hydrating. Or perhaps it’d just innocently skip their minds. Well, that would be too dangerous. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of hydrating while you are running at the beach. It is the best way to cool your body after a run.
Even if you think that you are going to run a short race and you feel water won’t be a necessity, do not assume. As a matter of fact, hydrate before and during the run. What this means is that you are going to need to drink water before you start the run and carry some more with you to the beach. This way, you are sure to have enough supply of drinking water and this will prevent the possibility of dehydration afterward.
Last but not least, we highly recommend a sunscreen application. It will go a long way in saving you the trouble associated with sunburn. If you are going to be running at the beach in the middle of the day, then we cannot stress enough the need for sunscreen. Do not attempt to go into the scorching sun without any layer of sunscreen application on your screen. And, not just any sunscreen, it has to be sweat-proof. When shopping for sunscreen, look out for an SPF50 with a water-resistant label on it. This one will be ideal to keep off the dripping sweat and any water particles that you may get into contact with while running at the beach.
Running at the beach seems like a great idea. Of course, it is a great idea. But not until you get yourself strapped with the right set of tips. Lucky for you, we have shared these tips and now the ball is in your court. All you have to do is hit the road and treat yourself to a nice beach run. And when you’re done, you can jump right into the water. After all, you will be having water-resistant sunscreen on. Plus, the water will help further with the much-needed body cooling as well as keeping the post-run soreness at bay.