Happy Friday Everyone!
In 48 hours I will be running the Grand Beach Sun Run 10K Road Race–the last 1.5K will be on the beach…in the sand….eek!
The last time I ran on the beach was in Miami in 2008 and I was so distracted by the beauty of being on the coast that I didn’t see the approaching rogue wave that succeeded in crashing at my feet, giving me two soggy sneakers and forcing me to turn my run into a casual walk back to the hotel.
In order to save me from this fate, survive this race and help a few other Princes and Princesses in their beach runs, I have compiled a list of tips for running at the beach. Enjoy!
Beach/Sand Running Tips
1. Run on the wet, packed sand. This is typically found during low tide. This will mean you will be close to the waters edge–try to avoid getting wet like I did in Miami or your run will be stopped in it’s sloshy tracks.
2. Beware of the beach slant. The slant on beaches caused by the tides will wreak havoc on your hips and knees. Try to run on the most level part of the beach that you can and also try to do an out and back style run on this surface so that the wear and tear is equal on both sides.
3. Gear up. This means sunscreen, hats, visors, sunglasses, body glide,etc. Not only do you need protection from the sun, but from the sand–much like any beach day, that sand will find it’s way everywhere in your running gear. I plan on bathing in body glide to avoid any sand related chafing during the race.
4. Don’t expect to keep your usual pace. Running in sand is much harder than regular pavement or a treadmill–especially if it’s the soft, dry, stuff. Give yourself a break and welcome the challenge that the sand is offering but don’t kill yourself–especially if you are new to sand running.
5. Have good form–run upright, shoulders back, chest up, chin in, relaxed upper body and a normal arm swing.
6. Navigate the sand–when you take each step, point your toes down into the sand to get a base and some grip to push off. If you are running barefoot, scrunch your toes in the sand to give extra grip and push off.
7. Ride someone’s tail. Not too close, mind you, but in a race, follow in someone’s footprints where the sand has already been packed for you.
8. Use your core. Tuck you bottom down and use your abs to keep a normal, lumbar curve–I am SO not going to remember to do this…I know it. lol.
9. Stay hydrated. This seems obvious to some extent, but it needs mentioning. I am definitely someone who could easily get distracted and forget to bring water for a workout as I would be so worried about bringing all the other fun stuff to the beach…like magazines, sunnies, fresh berries to snack on, music, etc.
10. Watch out for uneven terrain, even holes. It’s a beach and kids are making sand castles and digging holes–holes which can lead to nasty injuries like ankle sprains. Keep those eyes peeled and stay injury free.
Got any beach running tips? Leave them in the comments!