Running on the beach

Yesterday, my husband and I stayed with a friend in Myrtle Beach.  I needed to get more miles in for my Spring Challenge so I decided to take in the beauty of the beach and the wonderful weather, with a walk/run on the beach.  It was only 2 miles but it was an extremely challenging workout on the sand.  I feel soreness in my hips and knees, and decided to let today be a rest day.Image


Running on the beach can not only be a peaceful, beautiful running experience, but it can also help make you a stronger runner.  Several studies have found that running on sand consumes more energy than running on asphalt, burning as many as 1.6 more calories per mile. There’s also much less impact force when you run on sand.


Beach Running Tips – Here are a few running tips I found online that I thought were helpful.

I found out that the soreness in my hips and knees were because I was running on a slanted surface most of the time.  Some beaches have more slanted surfaces than others. Even at low tide on the most level beaches, you’ll find slanted portions. Running on a slant can put more pressure on your knees, ankles and hips, and could cause injuries. Doing an out-and-back run on the sand can prevent the unevenness from affecting only one side of the body. If you feel any pain, shorten your run and stick to level surfaces.  The best time to run on the beach is during falling or low tide.  This creates the most level, hard-packed surface for running.  Don’t expect to run your usual pace, but if you are fit enough and have experience running in the sand, you can come close to your normal pace on a low tide as long as you don’t have to fight the wind.  Don’t overdo it, until you get use to running in the sand.

Don’t forget: Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Stretch and Stay Hydrated.  Try to avoid running between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun is the most intense. Running on the sand can provide a soft surface and beautiful view, and can be as challenging or relaxed as you wish. Hope you enjoy and follow the above running tips.  Have Fun in the Sun!!! 


The following is some sand workouts that I found online:

The Zigzag:

  • Run 10 minutes on the wet, hard-packed sand, gradually accelerating from a slow jog to training pace if you can.
  • Head to the dry, soft sand for a one-minute hard run (less than one minute if your breathing gets out of control).
  • Cut back to the firm sand for one minute of slow recovery running. Keep these zigzag patterns going until you’ve done five to 10 one-minute spurts.
  • Cool down with a 10-minute easy jog on wet-packed sand.

Sand-Hill Ascents:

  • Run 10 minutes on the wet, hard-packed sand, gradually accelerating from a slow jog to training pace if you can.
  • Find a tall sand hill or dune that’s open to runners. Be aware that most dunes are protected by law so you may not be able to run on them. When in doubt, ask a lifeguard or park ranger, or look for signs that say, “Stay off the dunes.”
  • Run to the top or until your breathing gets too hard to continue. Jog back down. Keep jogging around the hill until you’ve caught your breath. Do five to 15 ascents, depending on the height of the hill.
  • Cool down with a 10-minute easy jog on wet-packed sand.







3 thoughts on “Running on the beach

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  1. Wow, great work and YES, beach running is SO tough!! I do a race every year that’s a run on the beach-swim- run on the boardwalk AND the run on the beach is by far the hardest part for me!! I’m definitely training a lot for it this time- GO BEACH RUNNING!! Great post and great tips!! 🙂

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