It is summer season almost everywhere! This likely means you are planning to make at least one trip to the sea or the ocean. And because you are a runner… I bet you can’t wait to run near it! It’s so refreshing and energizing to wake up in the morning and run on the sand, listening to the waves and enjoying the sunshine. Since it’s summer season and the temperatures are very high, you most likely do not need too much advice about your clothing except to wear less. However, what runners often think about is the SAND. Should they run on the sand? Should they run barefoot or with shoes? Should they run in the deep dry sand or stay right next to the water where the sand is wet and the ground feels much harder? Here we are going to explore all these topics.
Should you run on the sand?
Running on the sand could be a very beneficial activity that can in fact make you a faster and better runner. Running on soft sand will provide less stress for your joints. Thus, you are less likely to get injured which is critical for our sport. Running on the sand also requires more balance and this will add additional challenge to your workout. You will be able to gain more stability once you return to hard surface and feel stronger. Moreover, running on sand is much harder than other surfaces, thus you will have to work harder. All these factors will benefit you and you will feel faster and powerful when you run on other surfaces.
Keep in mind that your pace will change too. You will likely be much slower so run based on how you feel and rely on your effort.
Barefoot or with shoes?
It depends. Firstly, if you run close to the water where the sand is wet, it is better to run barefoot, otherwise your shoes will become too heavy. However, check first the condition of the sand. Sometimes the sand is soft and nice, but often it can be a bit rough and wearing shoes might be a good option. If you have delicate feet you can try running barefoot just for 5-10 minutes for your first run and see how you feel the next day. If your feet feel uncomfortable and you develop blisters, it is better to run with shoes. If you have ran before barefoot and you have no probles with it, or your feet feel normal, running without shoes is a great option and often it feels more natural.
In conclusion, you have to decide what is best for you based on how you feel and what are the conditions of the place you are running.
What else to consider when running on the beach?
Running on sand, either dry or wet, is a great option. You can choose based on your personal preferences which one fits you better. Although running in the dry sand is often much harder, it can provide you bigger benefits. However, if you need an easy recovery run where you can relax and enjoy, running on the wet sand (close to the sea where the surface feel harder) could be a better idea. Personally, I like to switch it up. You can also try doing a workout mixing up the two. You might not hit very fast splits but definitely you will get a great advantage of your work for your future races!
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