Monday, June 22, 2009

Beach Running 101

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.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

26.2 w/Donna in Jacksonville takes marathoners down the beach a couple of miles, half marathoners get about a 1/2 mile. My first marathon and the best marathon I've run so far. Crowd support and volunteer support was way off the charts. I hope you have a great vacation.

Running Through Life said...

Have a great vacation!! It sounds like a fun time. Kudos for you for running on vacation. Watch out for those hazards.

Angela Darling said...

Thanks so much for all the tips. I just found your blog and I think it's just the ticket I need right now to get my butt back in gear. Thanks:)

Regina said...

hmmm...I have to take the subway for an hour to run at the beach (which I did this past weekend along with open water swim), so I'll keep this under advisement.

As for the chaffing.....Body Glide....love it.

Jamoosh said...

And have fun enjoying yourself.

Hope the vacation rocks!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Anonymous! Haven't heard of that race. Sounds really cool!! Thanks for the well wishes!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Runnin Through Life! I'll be careful! (knock on wood) LOL!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Angela! Welcome to the blog!!! Thanks for the feedback!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Regina! Open Water Swim! Now that sounds fun! Gotta love that Body Glide! LOL!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Jamoosh! Thanks!

Jo Lynn said...

You're absolutely right. Those are great pointers for beach running. I am lucky enough to get to run on a beach one week a year. ;)

RunnerDude said...

Hey Jo Lynn! Have you had your week yet?

Jo Lynn said...

September. ;)

Jeff Pickett said...

Don't forget Jelly Fish. Some beaches I've been on have jellyfish that wash in. If you're running barefoot, be prepared for some fun if you step on one by mistake. So, for me, shoes are a MUST.
Enjoy the vacation Thad!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Jeff! Ouch! Good reminder! Actually on my runs in the neighborhood we're staying in that's off the beach, I'm having to keep a lookout for deer! Three bolted out right in front of me! I was almost road kill! LOL!

CoachTief said...

You forgot the final and best part of running on the beach. When you're done, kick off your shoes and socks and jump in to cool off! I love doing that

RunnerDude said...

Hey Coach Tief! You're exactly right! And after the dip, there's this awesome hammock on our deck. Heaven!

Jamey said...

Thanks for the tips! Heading to the beach in a couple of days and need to get at least one good run in. I think your suggestion about not worrying about the mileage is probably a good idea. I've never run on the beach before, so I'm a little nervous.

RunnerDude said...

Hey Jamey! Enjoy the beach and have some good runs!