What to have in mind when running on the beach
Running on the beach sounds like a great idea during the hotter seasons of the year, whether you have been influenced by your favourite movie characters like Rocky from Rocky 3 when he is re-discovering his form for his rematch with Clubber Lang, or you may even catch yourself running in slow motion like one of your favourite Baywatch characters like David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson.
If you’re ready to add beach running into your fitness routine, this article will take you through the benefits, things to be aware of, risks, and which equipment you will need to get the most from your beach training.
Benefits of Beach Training
More Energy Will Be Required
Running on Sand will require more energy due to the uneven level you will be running; you will need to be propelling yourself more forward in order to make sure you are maintaining an even pace; in turn, this will require more energy and is perfect for burning calories. Though it is uneven ground, it will not damage your joints due to the softer landing, and this will put less stress on your joints like your hips, knees and ankles.
Ensuring the impact has been kept at a minimum when working out is so important, as this will lessen the chance of having any extensive joint pain, hamstring injuries and many more potential injuries that can come from applying stress to your joints and bones.
It Will Improve Athletic Performance
Training on Sand has proven more effective than training on solely stable surfaces such as a gym floor. A study that was conducted in 2020 tested some junior male Handball players, asking them to do seven weeks’ worth of plyometric training on two different surfaces; one half of the team would conduct the exercise on Sand, and the other half would conduct the exercise on a stable gym floor.
Unsurprisingly, all participants saw a significant change in athletic performance due to undergoing a seven-week plyometric workout program, where they improved their change of direction, static balance, and jump performances. But the ones that performed these exercises in Sand developed additional gains, such as improved sprint performance.
Things To Be Aware Of When Running On The Sand
Make Sure To Stay Hydrated
When you’re running on the beach, you will be in open sunlight, so ensuring you stay hydrated is very important. It can be a serious health risk if you perform vigorous exercise while dehydrated. The national academy of Sports Medicine has set a recommended allowance of the amount of water you should be consuming, around 650ml of water around 2 hours before your workout, around 350ml of water during your workout and around 750ml of water after your workout.
Go For Time, Not Distance
Due to the change in speed when running in Sand compared to running on a flat surface, you will be going slower due to it being harder to move in the Sand compared to a flat surface. You may be able to run a 5K on a flat surface in under 20 minutes, but you will not be able to do the same amongst the Sand. So instead, try to stay at a steady pace for around 20 minutes instead of tracking a specific distance.
Warm Up Properly
You will need to ensure you do a much slower and longer warm-up compared to other runs, like when you are preparing for a run on a flat surface. This is in order to get a feel for the uneven ground and for your body to get used to the new type of ground that you will be running; this is so important to prevent potential injuries that could quite quickly happen when running or jogging on Sand. Everything changes when you run on Sand, including your posture; having a good posture when running is vital, so making sure this is all in steady order, you should be fine.
The Equipment Needed
Unlike regular running, in which you will be running on the hard ground, you will need to wear the appropriate footwear for running on the beach, as regular running shoes have been created to run on flat ground, but purchasing shoes that are purpose-built for running on the beach.
Protect Your Skin
A little like the hydration, making sure your skin is correctly protected is so important; make sure that you are using the proper amount of sun tan lotion; this will keep you from getting sunburnt (which will, of course, stunt your running progression) and more importantly it will protect your skin from diseases such as skin cancer, SPF 50 is recommended when performing exercise in the open when the sun is out.
Now that we have gone through all of the relevant information for you to become the perfect runner amongst the Sand, you will be ready to safely action your exercise routine on the beach without contracting any unnecessary injuries. Once you have purchased the appropriate running equipment, you will be glad to tackle running or jogging on Sand confidently.