Beach Running Gear (Read 564 times)

    I live in an area where there are not any running stores locally. So I rely on online reviews and past experiences when I buy my running shoes. I will be spending most of my summer in Hollywood, Florida (where I will probably end up living in the next 6 months. I would love to try to run some on the beach. So I have questions for those of you who do this: 1. I want to use shoes--Do I get shoes that are water/land shoes? I had a stress fracture in my foot 12 weeks ago so I want some support. How can I find them? Online? I was going to try to run on the hard wet sand. Plus I'm a chicken...I don't want to step on a dead sea creature. 2. Do you generally run faster or slower? How do I determine how fast or how far I've gone? 3. I have heard that you generally work hard running on the sand. Is this true for hard wet sand also? Thanks so much guys!!
    Goals: Maintain 120 beat 5k time: 25:52 beat 10k time: 55:48 Complete one half-marathon-Jan. 10th
      Hi Alyssa- You are making a nice comeback from your stress fracture! I run on the beach in Miami, FL a lot so here's my 2 cents... 1. I always wear shoes. There is nothing worse then coming down hard on a shell or rock (or crab). I have a pair of "beach" sneakers that I wear only for running on the beach since even if you run on the hard pack they get so sandy you can't wear them anywhere else. Mine are stability running sneakers, but I say whatever shoes you use regularly are fine, just don't expect to get all the sand out. They may get splashed a little by the ocean, but if you run close to low tide you should have plenty of wet sand to run on at the edge of the water. 2. I usually run slightly slower, just because like trail running the softer surface and angle of the beach slows me down. Sometimes I will do a Fartlek on the sand which is a good way to work some speed in. One word of warning- you will want to do at least the 1st week of runs slower than normal because 1) the sand will work your calves harder and 2) the heat and humidity here is brutal and takes awhile to get used to. Even first thing in the morning the sun blazes down on you and if the sea breeze hasn't kicked in yet, you will definitely feel the heat and summer. 3. I always run within 2 hours on either side of low tide, so that there is plenty of hard wet sand to run on. It's a little harder than running on the road, but it is a great workout! You can find the low tide times here- http://www.saltwatertides.com/dynamic.dir/floridaatlanticsites.html, Hollywood Beach is near the bottom. It's a nice beach! Enjoy your runs!
        ooh I forgot to add that to find how far I ran I just notice what nearby street I start and stop at and then use Eric's wonderful mapping tool to get the distance.

          It may have just been me, but I got a nagging calf injury the week I did my runs on the beach (spring vacation with the kids). I tried to rest, but always had that nagging feeling that I could run through it. In the end, the only way I could get back to totally pain free running was to shut it down--which I had to do. The shut down derailed me, got me out of my training mode, and I am just now starting to claw back. When I described my injury to runners with my experience than I, the first question was always "did you hurt it on a beach run?" Maybe it is me, but I would say enjoy the sun and surf and sand, but be careful....you may end up doing more harm than good.