Headed to the coast for some R&R? You might be out of your daily grind, but that doesn't mean you should you give up your routine workouts. Pack your running shoes or go sans sneakers! Click here to see if running on the sand is a good fit for you.
If you're ready to give it a go, skim through this checklist first. The last thing you want to do is spend a couple hours at an urgent care facility for twisting an ankle or receiving treatment for a jellyfish sting (guess that wasn't washed up seaweed after all!).
- Tide matters. Before you set out for your run, note the water level. You want to run during low tide and stay as close to the water as possible without actually getting your feet wet. Newspapers and local news sites will post the daily tide times or you can bookmark this page here.
- Shoes or no shoes? If you're just starting out, wear shoes. Running is a total body experience, and as you fatigue, you can quickly become uncoordinated. Having proper footwear will help you stay steady and provide a buffer between your joints and the uncertain sand. If you're a sand-running veteran, untie those laces!
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- Wet or dry? In most cases, running on a wet surface is the more dangerous option; however, wet sand is more compact and acts more like a paved surface. Dry sand can dip and vary in depth. There's a higher risk of injury when maneuvering around dry sand. It will feel like one of those dreams where you're trying to run away from the bad guy, but you're going absolutely nowhere.
- Map it out. Check out the map or talk with a concierge about running routes. Base your distance off of very clear landmarks. Sometimes, the beach can suddenly narrow or become very steep, which can quickly end a good run! Once you pick your route, tell someone where you'll be running.
- Warm up! Yeah, yeah, yeah, you say. Of course, you'll warm up! But in this case, it's extremely vital for a safe run. When you hit the sand, the uneven and unpredictable surface draws more energy from the muscles than a paved, flat surface. It's harder on your tendons and joints, too. Warm up with ankle rolls, jumps, hops and walking lunges.
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