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Running on the Beach (Read 755 times)

dynnuf


    Hi all - Does anyone have experience running in the sand on the beach? Can/should you run barefoot and any thoughts on which part of the sand to run on: wet, dry/wet, or dry(impossible!)? I read that running in the sand takes about 1.6x more effort than the same distance on the road, but does that count for the wet or dry sand? Last, for barefoot running, I read many things that said it can be very good for your feet muscles etc, but I am slightly flatfooted - is this the kind of thing that could build up my arch a little if I dont rush into it? Thoughts and comments would be great! Thanks.
      Hello! I'm no expert but I'm blessed to have miles and miles of sandy beaches and dunes only a couple of hundred yards from my house so I mix that into my training whenever I can. Barefoot running I don't know; only thing is depending on the cleanliness of your beach and water you might be at possible risk should you cut yourself. I don't have that problem here as the sea and beach are clean but the grass which hold the dunes together is mighty sharp and often cuts into my calves and so I wouldn't fancy runnning barefoot around it!! However I've heard it's good for your feet and especially the skin on your feet (like a foot scrub and massage, bliss!!). Beach wise I've read and to a small degree experienced the effect of the camber on the beach. I run on the firmer stuff which tends to have a bit of a camber due to it being tidal. I try to keep it flat as possible as after a while you'll feel your cartilage start to grumble. Just the same as running on a road with a camber you shouldn't have too long a period in one single orientation. As I say, I run on the firmer stuff when on the waterfront which gives a nice bit of cushioning but doesn't suck the life out of your legs (this is where I go to do distance). The softer stuff and especially climbing dunes which are exclusivley soft is VERY hard work. If I want to really get working I go across sections behind the dunes which is all soft (it looks like the surface of the moon) and if you add a climb onto it it's not long before you're maxed out!! Great for muscle strength though! Feel the burn!! The problem however with the soft sand is that it strethces you in all sorts of ways which is of course an injury risk. I strained my calf this way just by over extending it Cry. My flexibility is not the greatest (not the worst either) but it's worth bearing in mind whilst it feels like everything is soft and 'friendly' you could actually be stretching things a bit much so a good warm up is very, very important. Of course in the long run if you can run on it and not strain anything it's great for your muscle/tendon strength and flexibility. It's had a very positive effect on mine and I feel stronger for it. The main benefit for me is that it's soft and hence not as hard on the joints whilst also working lungs/muscles hard. I've shed 28lbs (2 stone) since I started running and have a wee bit to go yet so it's been valuable not to run all the time on hard surfaces whilst I've been losing weight and not put too much strain on my poor joints. Oh yeah!! And you have to pour sand out of your trainers every time you go on it!!! (unless you do indeed go barefoot?) Anyway, hope this helps in some way. Good luck with it. Cheers, FC


      Needs more cowbell!

        Hey, FC--I see you are in Scotland, whereabouts? My hubby spent a year studying in Aberdeen back in the early 90s. I was with him for about a month of that. Beautiful part of the world...I really miss the haddock and chips! Your sandy beaches sound much like the ones we have here in West MI. I have no urge to run on the, though--I like my terrain to not move too much. Wink k

        I shoot pretty things! ~

        '14 Goals:

        • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

          I run barefoot strides once every week or two. Usually on a flat grass or field-turf soccer field--lately field-turf since the local HS has that now on both the soccer and football fields. I think it definitely makes my feet/calves stronger and more resilient to injury as well as the normal benfit of strides; faster turnover, a more powerful footstrike,etc. Not sure about increasing your arch--I think that's just something you're either born with or not. I have also done a fair amount of running on beaches. If the sand is soft enough I like to run barefoot, but if there are lots of broken shells/rocks I wear shoes. Not sure about exactly how much extra effort sand running takes but I usually just do easy miles on sand and don't worry about time/pace. As Fluffchub said, its great on the joints and muscles. I wish I got the chance to run on the beach more often.

          Runners run.

            Surprised Small World it is. I'm in the Granite City!!Surprised I'll bet your cholesterol doesn't miss the Haddock & Chips?!!


            Needs more cowbell!

              Surprised Small World it is. I'm in the Granite City!!Surprised I'll bet your cholesterol doesn't miss the Haddock & Chips?!!
              Oh, I am SO jealous--that is such an amazing city! Please go have a fish supper for me! Smile I'm one of those lucky people who has healthy cholesterol (even when I was overweight)--and the running doesn't hurt. DH comes from a family with cholesterol issues, though (and these are people who are all slim and active), particularly in terms of high triglycerides. So I guess it's just as well that we don't have fish-n-chips on every corner. Wink k

              I shoot pretty things! ~

              '14 Goals:

              • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)