When the sun is shining and you can feel the comfort and warmth of the rays delicately gracing your skin, being inside is the last place you want to be. If you’re already a keen runner, running on a treadmill in the Summer can be extremely sweaty and boring, and the same route around your block just doesn’t seem to excite you anymore.
When the sun’s out, the beach calls. We all think of the beach as a place of relaxation and calmness, so why not move your workout there?
Beautiful scenery, different each time you visit, the smell of the ocean, and a clear view of a sunrise or a sunset. What better way to enjoy exercising than a place that exudes relaxation and comfort. Blissful!
Beach running is very different to your usual method of running, so we’ve put together some handy tips for you to know before you begin your beach running journey.
These are the most common mistakes people make when giving beach running a go for the first time, so by following these tips, you won’t have any reason to not enjoy yourself.
So, have a read through this guide, and get ready to fall in love with beach running!
1. Don’t Forget Sunscreen
This is especially important when going running on the beach. There are limited options for shade on the beach, and barely any options whilst running. By making sure you apply sunscreen before heading out, you will be protecting yourself from the suns rays, even when it’s cloudy.
You can never be too careful with applying sunscreen, as you want your redness to wear off after you cool down, not become sore and itchy.
It’s always better to run towards the end of day when the sun isn’t as hot, although it is still important to wear sunscreen later in the day.
2. Always Remember Your Water
A running staple. It is so important to remember your water when beach running as there may not be anywhere close for you to grab a bottle of water, so it’s always best to take your own.
If you’re far out on the beach and suddenly need some water, having your own bottle on you is a lot better and safer under the sun and during exercise. Some beaches have taps, but don’t assume unless you know for sure.
3. Choose Your Shoes Wisely
Your preference of beach running shoe is completely up to you, but it might be a good idea to have a pair of shoes you use only for beach running so you don’t have to worry about sand getting in them.
Don’t skip on the support, because even though sand is softer than pavement, you want to make sure you don’t damage any muscles.
4. Don’t Over-Layer
This is important during running as you don’t want to overheat or be laden down with clothes to carry once you’ve warmed up. It can usually get very hot down the beach, so make sure you dress in clothes that are appropriate for the weather.
If you do choose to run on a colder day, make sure your sweatshirt won’t be too heavy to carry if you have to take it off.
As we all know, sand can get EVERYWHERE, so shorts may be a more appropriate clothing choice than leggings for beach running as you won’t have to worry about sand getting into your leggings and having to stop to adjust yourself.
5. Find Firmer Sand
If you are new to beach running, finding firmer sand will help you ease yourself into it. Running on firmer sand will help you run as you normally do and won’t tire you out as quickly.
You can practice running on softer sand if you would like, but don’t feel pressured to as it can be very exhausting and sometimes unstable. It can take practice to get the hang of it, but to begin, find the firmer sand!
6. Run With the Wind!
This will make your life a whole lot easier as the coastal winds can either be extremely strong or a nice, soft breeze. If you want to do a circuit of the beach, it’s up to you whether you decide to run with the wind on your way out or your way back.
Just be mindful that you don’t want to exhaust yourself out on your way out, so try and time your run when there is less of a strong wind.
7. Choose Your Beach Carefully
This is important for a couple of reasons. If you choose a beach full of hills, it will tire you out quicker, especially if you aren’t used to it. You want to make sure you’re minimizing all risks of injury, as you don’t want to have any mounds or dips to accidentally trip over or fall into.
It also might be worth choosing a quieter beach depending on the time, as you don’t want to have to spend your whole run avoiding families, sandcastles, windbreakers, buckets, barbecues, or spades.
A quieter beach will help you get used to beach running, and you won’t have any hazards to continuously avoid. If you have a popular beach in mind, it might be worth waiting until later in the day as it will get less busy.
8. Start off Slowly
It’s always a good idea to start off slowly when running before you fully warm-up, but as we said before, running on the sand can become quite exhausting quite quickly.
Starting off slowly when beach running will help you get used to the sand and will help you build up to running at your own natural pace, but don’t push yourself straight away. Starting off slowly will help you to make sure to reserve stamina, allowing you to run a greater distance and not be too tired on the way back.
Tiring too quickly will result in a long walk back to the car, so don’t start running too quickly.
9. Build-Up to Barefoot Running
Barefoot running can look idyllic and relaxing, and it’s a great way to feel connected to the Earth. However, you don’t want to injure yourself before you’ve barely begun your run. As we’re so used to wearing shoes when running, having that support suddenly taken away isn’t good for your feet.
Especially when running on firmer sand, it can put a lot of pressure on your feet. Try gradually easing yourself into barefoot running, but don’t push yourself as you don’t want to do any damage to yourself. Only run completely barefoot when you feel comfortable and prepared to.
Running on the beach will be as relaxing as you want it to be, depending on where you decide to run, how you decide to dress, and how you prepare yourself.
If you don’t dress appropriately for beach running it will cause you to overheat and you will end up having to carry most of what you were wearing, so be sure not to make that mistake.
Choosing the right location to run can be difficult, but sometimes it pays to either travel that little bit extra to flatter surfaces or wait until later in the day for a quieter and more enjoyable beach running experience.