Save Yourself From Being In Pain
When You Run on the Beach . . .
The information below (all 60 seconds of it) will spare you from being in pain
Lately I’ve been doing quite a bit of running on the beach. The beach is probably my favorite running surface. It’s more difficult to run fast but you don’t get as much impact as hard surfaces like pavement.
The information below was collecting by running hundreds of miles on Florida's beaches. There is nothing like a sprained foot or prickly heat rash to get you thinking, "I wish I would have known that before I started!"
Feel free to comment and add your own suggestions below the post.
Beach Running Recommendations
- Run at or near Low Tide. It is significantly easier to run around Low Tide. The beach tends to be firmer and flatter at Low Tide. The Internet is usually a pretty good place to find tide information. If you have a GPS unit they are usually equipped with tide information. To find more information on tides visit the following site: Tide and Current Predictor. If you run going into a low tide period the surf tends not to creep up on you.
- Why NOT run at High Tide? If you try running at High Tide you are running higher on the beach and usually at an angle. The sand is also significantly softer and very uneven, making it more difficult to run and easier to hurt yourself. The few times I’ve tried to run at High Tide my knees and hips took a beating. It took almost four days from one High Tide run to walk without pain.
- If you are going to run longer than an hour, split the Low Tide. Start 60 minutes before Low Tide and then continue 30 minutes past. Adjust accordingly.
- Run close to the water and watch the surf lines. If you watch the surf you can choose the firmness of the sand under your feet. Don’t run too close to the surf or you’ll find yourself trying to escape getting your shoes wet.
- Wear sneakers and socks while running. I will admit running shoes and socks might not be the most fashionable. But, I’ve learned through a sprained foot and really bad blisters that socks and sneakers are recommended. There have been numerous occasions where I’ve passed broken glass, sharp sea shells, and jelly fish. Somehow stepping on those objects barefoot doesn’t seem appealing. Your sneakers also help in giving your foot better support. Take an old pair of running sneakers with you, they're likely to get wet. Arch support helps.
- Wear a High Quality Sunscreen. Even if you're out for a quick run, sunscreen is highly recommended. Two of my friends were in the intense Florida sun for just 45 minutes without sunblock . . . they had the worst sunburns I've ever seen in my life. Their skin was burnt so badly it went beyond "lobster red" and turned purple! Both of them were in pain for almost a week with blistering and ridiculous skin pealing.
Why High Quality Sunscreen? Aside from preventing sunburn, you want to use sunscreen that WON'T clog your pores. Clogged pores cause sweat to get trapped below your skin and cause heat rash (prickly heat). Trust me, it is extremely uncomfortable. Lately, I've been using Neutrogena Healthy Defense Sunblock Lotion, Oil-Free SPF 45 with good results. Stay way from cheap sunscreen, you get what you pay for! Also consider showering and gently scrubbing down with a good loofah and shower gel after your run.
- Twilight Beach Jogs - Running at night is actually pretty easy and just a darn cool thing to do. It helps if you can find a night where the moon is up to light your way. You'd be surprised at how much you can see. Again, I'd recommend splitting a low tide.
Running is yet another great way to generate ideas. Unfortunately it is not the most conducive environment for taking notes. There are portable voice recorders and small note pads, but I have yet to find anything that is not cumbersome.
If you enjoy running and you’re going someplace with a beach, pack those running shoes.
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