Reasons To Run On The Beach
Running is an exercise for some and a hobby for others. But one thing we can all agree on is the benefits of a good run.
11:29 05 January 2021
Something that even long time runners may not have thought of is going for a run on the beach. Not only is it sunny, but the sound of the waves will accompany you throughout your run. Having the sand under your feet also introduces an additional thrill factor as opposed to running on the concrete pavement.
Running on the beach is more than just fun. If you know the pros and cons, you can adjust your routine to get the most of your training. We’ve done the heavy lifting for you and found some of the risks and benefits of beach runs. And for more running tips, be sure to check out this running blog!
1. Benefit — Upgrade your running skills
As sand is softer than concrete, the bounce generated with each step when running on sand is absorbed. That means that the proceeding step is not aided by the bounce, unlike on concrete floors. Thus, having regular running sessions on the beach could train you to develop a new running technique that is stable and swift. This new technique is necessary if anyone wants to run efficiently on the sand.
2. Benefit — Trains power and synchronization
No pain, no gain. While it is tougher running on the softer sand, you get to train your leg muscles more than when running on concrete. You also engage your core more by running on the uneven surface. Eventually, you end up with a smooth-running technique and maybe even some abs.
3. Benefit — Shed more pounds!
You burn more fats by running on the sand than on concrete because you use more of each of your body’s muscles in order to run smoothly. The more energy you use, the more fats you burn. After your run, your body will use even more energy to heal which means you burn fats by resting!
4. Benefit — Better workout overall
Due to all that balancing, coordinating, and extra power, it is normal that runners get tired quickly while running on sand. Thus, it is recommended that you begin with short training before progressing to longer, more intensive ones. The short workouts will condition your body to handle sprints and intervals which are more intensive. Some runners also divide their workout into two sessions a day so that their body heals in between the sessions.
Now, let’s address the risks of running on the beach and some advice on tackling them.
1. Risk — Unfamiliar strains
As you might have already gathered, running on the sand places new stresses on your feet and leg muscles. This could lead to injuries. The best way to prevent this is to do a proper warm-up and cool down before and after your exercise respectively. The best part of running at the beach is that you can begin your cool-down routine with a quick swim in the sea.
2. Risk — Stress on foot muscles
Running with shoes on the beach might not be that good because runners will tend to land heel first which carries the force up to the knees and even hips. The best way to stop this is to run barefooted. Running without shoes makes runners more cautious, which encourages the use of the middle and front of the foot instead.
A good way to get used to running barefoot is to practice first on similar surfaces like on the grass and gym floors. Then once you’re ready for the beach, run closer to the water as the sand there is harder and easier to adjust to. Running barefoot also provides greater stimulation for your senses which aids in circulation. Not to mention your posture will be better. That said, always be careful not to step on anything sharp. Over time, calluses might even develop on the soles of your feet but the improvement in running technique outweighs the risks of this issue hands down.
3. Risk — Strain on the spine and pelvis
One risk of running at the beach is the uneven flooring. Because of the slope going down towards the ocean, running along the beach can slant the hips and pose all sorts of strain on your core muscles. Maintaining this could stress your hips and back, causing injuries in the future. So, do remember to switch directions every now and then. A pro tip is to run when the tide is low. That is usually when the ground is less slanted.
4. Risk — Heat from the sun
People often underestimate the heat and harmful UV rays at the beach because of the wind from the sea. It is crucial that you put on sunscreen before the run and use a running cap if possible. Avoid going when the sun is at its hottest, which is about the middle of the day. Instead, go for runs in the morning or evening. Don’t forget to stay hydrated throughout the day as well. The warmth from the sun can be nice but the heat can sometimes be debilitative. When you are running to become a healthier and fitter person, the last thing you want is to suffer from a heat stroke. Protecting your skin and regulating the temperature of your body is key when running on the beach.
While there may be risks to running on sand, there are ways that you can prevent them from occurring. Furthermore, the advantages of running on the beach are plenty. Strengthening your muscles, improving your form, and enhancing your running technique are some of the benefits mentioned above. If you’ve never even considered running on the beach before, the pros of it might come as a surprise to you. You might also be puzzled that many competitive runners train on the sand to get ready for the race. This testifies to the benefits that it brings to runners. So why wait further? Try it out and you might just find yourself becoming a better runner with every run.