This week I'm at the beach for the big family vacation. There's 12 of us (grandparents, my brother and his wife and family an my family). It's a summer tradition to make the trek to Emerald Isle, NC for a week of relaxation. My parents have been renting the same big house each year. Lots of fun.
Even though I'm on vacation, I try not to lag too much in my running. I usually don't run as much as during a regular week nor do I run as hard but I still like to get in a few runs. Running on the beach I've discovered, can be quite the workout.
Here's a few pointers I discovered while on the run.
RunnerDude's Beach Running Tips:
1. Put on sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. My sunglasses are prescription, so I have no choice, but even if you don't wear glasses, the shades will keep harmful UV rays from your eyes as well as help keep the wind from blowing sand in them.
2. Wear your normal running clothes. Don't run in your swimsuit. You may experience some chaffing which wouldn't be too pleasant the next time you hop in the ocean.
3. Unless you're adept at barefoot running, wear you running shoes and socks just as you would on a regular run. Even if you're fine with barefoot running, I wouldn't risk stepping on a shell or a piece of glass that someone has left on the beach. Actually, if you have them, your trail running shoes are probably your best bet for beach running.
4. Be prepared for a slower pace than your regular run. If it's windy like it was this morning, then you'll be a lot slower. Also, running in the sand, even the hard-packed sand by the water, tends to slow you down a little.
5. Try to run around low tide when there's more hard-packed sand on which to run. The hard-packed sand near the water makes for a more stable run.
6. Keep your eyes open for shell hunters and little kids darting back and forth. I almost took out a 4-year-old on my run.
7. Keep an eye out for holes! Abandoned sandcastles or ones that have been wiped out by the tide may have holes. If you're not careful, you'll be in one with a sprained ankle. Not a good thing for vacation time.
8. Probably a good idea to run by time rather than distance. Often that pier you plan to run to is much further away than you think. If your regular run is a 40-min 5-miler, plan on running 20 minutes out and then head back. You're on vacation. Who cares if it's not exactly 5 miles.
9. Just because you're at the beach doesn't mean you have to run on the beach. Check with the local information center to see if there are any local running routes or greenways for you to use. On Emerald Isle, NC, they've built a paved path that follows the main road which runs through some pretty shaded areas.
10. Shake the sand out of your shoes entering the house or you'll get yelled at.