Beach Training

Here are a few beach-jogging pointers for coastal runners and vacationers.

It doesn’t require science to figure out that running on sand is more demanding than running on pavement. Just ask anyone who’s ever been on sand.

But science can tell us just how a lot more challenging it truly is.

In 1998, three researchers in Belgium published “Mechanics and energetics of human locomotion on sand,” and their conclusions on beach-associated exercise was intriguing: jogging on the sand takes 1.6 times more energy than running on a hard surface, chiefly because:

  • The mechanical work needed to get through the sand.
  • The inefficiency of the work done by tendons and muscles because of the sand’s unpredictable surface.

Needless to say, the research workers in Belgium did this testing in soft, dry sand. Thanks to the ocean and its dynamic tides, soft sand is usually not the only option for seashore jogging.

Should your home is close to the beach, or you’re heading out for a vacation this summer, you may be interested in taking your love of running to the coastline. Many runners in coastal areas do this to get a change of pace workout in one of the most tranquil places on earth.

For runners, not all beaches are made equal. The truth is, there are a few major factors that could make for running on a whole dud to certain areas.

Run on the Correct Shore

— Span. A jetty, a cliff, a river mouth…so many things can shorten the span of a shore– and turn your hoped-for run into a huge disappointment. Look for a beach that’s a mile of uninterrupted coastline.

— Slant. Some beaches are not suitable because they are cambered, or crowned. Determined by how cambered the seashore is, this could induce you to run on a slanted surface for a long interval, which may lead to harm. The more level, the better.

— Surface. For the barefoot crowd, some shores are littered with broken seashells that may be distressing to run on and rocks. Take your shoes with you just in case.

Choose the Right Type of Sand

Depending on the tide cycle, you might have multiple surfaces to pick from. And they are night and day in terms of issue.

The soft sand is the surface that’s not entirely wet. It has plenty of give, which makes running on it hard (hence, why it takes 1.6 times more energy than paving.)

Sand that is packed, or the wet sand, is what’s left behind as the tide recedes. It is a lot more solid than soft sand. If you are new to beach running, go to the wet sand. If you want to do a soft-sand jog, get ready for a workout that is great.

Watch the Tide

To get the most wet sand to run on (or the most area to run on, in case your shore is narrow), make sure to go at low tide, or at least when the tide is receding. Tide graphs are simple to find online.

In case you head out when the tide is rising or during high tide, you will not have any wet sand to run on –or at some spots, you may not have any beach at all.

Choose to Run With or Without Shoes

The wet sand is durable enough that you can run with shoes and not worry about sinking in. But of course, the sand is a soft enough surface to make barefoot jogging not impossible, if not preferable.

Do so with care, if you choose to really go without shoes. Your feet are used to the support, and at the end of even a short beach run, you might observe that your ankles, achilles, calf muscles or the top of your feet are fatigued or hurting.

Check Your Knees

Some beaches have more slanted surfaces than many others, but even the most level seashores, at the best tides, have some slant to them. And generally speaking, the more complex the tide angled the sand. Running on an angled surface can wreak havoc on your own knees and hips. Make sure you run out and back. The unevenness isn’t good for either leg, but it’s better to put both legs through the paces than only one (for instance, running down a beach in one direction, then back on the road). But in case you sense knee or hip pain, stick to the roads or amount trails.

Deep Sand Workouts

Even in the event you can not get down to the beach at low tide for the hard-packed sand , running in deep sand once in a while is a great kick in the butt. Sand, like soft snow, gives with every step, so your leg muscles (hello, burning calves) will feel the burn. This is often really suitable, though, if you don’t have much time for a run. Doing a quick workout in deep sand will seldom leave you wishing you had more time for a longer run.

Gear Up

Sunscreen is essential, as from directly overhead as well as running next to the water will provide you with the rays that are reflective. Sunglasses and also a hat or visor are additionally helpful in keeping you focused and comfortable on your own run, instead of that fireball in the sky. And if you do a lot of shore jogging, try to find shoes that have tight net over open mesh. When you’re running on the soft stuff a net that is closed may keep your shoes from filling up with sand. And since it is occasionally inescapable to get a little sand in, wear socks that ward off blisters. Thin, synthetic alternatives work nicely. And in case your sock and shoe combo still is not half marathon training plan abating the wipe, consider a lubricant like Sportslick or BodyGlide for long jogs, especially long runs where your feet might get wet and sandy.

Make Use of Where You’re

Nothing caps off a terrific seashore jog much better than a hop in the ocean (and thank goodness for quick drying run clothes). A soak in the sea won’t give you the same recovery advantages as an ice bath –unless you’re running on a beach in Maine in the winter–but it’ll certainly leave you refreshed. And to make the most of more environment, hop over piles of seaweed or alternative obstacles for agility training, and race the sun as it sets into the water for speed work.