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Let's go to the beach! All about running on the beach

This time last week I was in the middle of the brilliant KWU summer camp. This was a training camp with 1400 attendees from all over the work; a mixture of coaches, juniors, and top class fighters.

I trained twice daily for a week as a part of the fighting group. Each morning we would jog down to the beach and preform a short series of warm up exercises before going for a run along the beach.

I haven’t really done much beach running in my time (guess that’s part of living in London)! But I know I really felt it. My lungs worked harder, and muscles ached that don’t usually ache from my normal running routes.

What with it being holiday season, I know that more people will be visiting the beach so I thought I’d take a look and research some facts about beach running. And now I know, if I get the opportunity to run on the beach at any time, I will!

 

  • Lower impact. The sand is softer than the pavement, which is better for your knee and ankle joints as it is a more effective shock absorber.
  • You burn more calories. Running on the sand is harder than running on the pavement. When your feet sink into the sand, you have to use more energy to push back off it, therefore burning more calories.
  • You can train your agility. Dodging pieces of driftwood and rocks, or zigzagging in between the waves can add another dimension to your run that you wouldn’t get anywhere else.
  • It’s good the build strength. Running on the sand not only builds power in the legs, butalso in the smaller muscles in the calves and feet. It can also reduce the risk of shin splints.
  • It has the feel good factor. Everyone knows they feel better when they are out in the fresh air, and you don’t get much fresher than at the beach – nature at its finest!
  • You can jump straight into the sea after! Whilst the benefits won’t be quite the same as an ice bath, it will still help to soothe aching muscles and leave you feeling amazing.

 

But do be careful:

  • Beach running is hard work and can leave your body tired and sore, even for a few days afterwards, so slow down and pace yourself correctly.
  • For the above reasons it’s not something to try before an event.
  • Watch out for shells / broken glass when you’re running barefoot.
  • If you’re beach running on your summer holiday avoid the midday sun. Going out at dawn or dusk will be much cooler making it easier to avoid dehydration, sunburn and heat stroke.
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