Summer vacation is so often known for long walks on the beach or should we say, long runs on the beach?!? For many of our active KT Tape fans, summer beach vacations are another opportunity to try one more unusual running terrain! Check out this advice byLisa Jhung from Runners World on how to maximize your beach running experience: Whether you live near a beach or your travels take you to one, running on the sand provides a soft running surface, and a view. Your run on the beach can be extremely challengingespecially if you run in deep sand. Or, it can be just as mellow as a run on a flat trail.
Here are some beach running tips to help you enjoy your next jaunt by the sea:
Check the Tides
A low tide creates the most level, hard-packed surface for running. As the water ebbs, it leaves hardening sand behind that's still forgivinglike a soft trailunderfoot. Ideally, you want to run at the lowest tide of the day, or an hour or two around the lowest point, and stay close to the water's edge without getting your feet wet. Running at high tide leaves you with just soft, dry sand, as the tide is rising and taking over more and more of the beach. In beach communities, local newspapers print high and low tide times each day, and there are a couple online resources for tide charts, such as the one found here: tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov.
Check Your Knees
Some beaches have more slanted surfaces than others, but even the most level beaches, at the lowest tides, have some slant to them. And generally speaking, the higher the tide, the more angled the sand. Running on an angled surface can wreak havoc on your knees and hips. Make sure you run out and back. The unevenness isn't good for either leg, but it's better to put both legs through the paces than just one (for instance, running down a beach in one direction, then back on the road). But if you feel knee or hip pain, stick to the roads or level trails.
Deep Sand Workouts
Even if you can't get down to the beach at low tide for the hard-packed sand, running in deep sand once in a while is a great kick in the butt. Sand, like soft snow, gives with every step, so your leg muscles (hello, burning calves) will feel the burn. This can be really convenient, though, if you don't have much time for a run. Doing a short workout in deep sand will rarely leave you wishing you had more time for a longer run.
Sunscreen is a must, as running next to the water will give you the reflective rays as well as from directly overhead. Sunglasses and a hat or visor are also helpful in keeping you comfortable and focused on your run, instead of that fireball in the sky blinding you. And if you do a lot of beach running, look for shoes that have tight mesh over open mesh. A closed mesh can keep your shoes from filling up with sand when you're running on the soft stuff. And since it's sometimes inevitable to get a little sand in, wear socks that ward off blisters. Thin, synthetic options work well. And if your sock and shoe combo still isn't abating the rub, consider a lubricant like KT Chafe Safe for long runs, especially long runs where your feet might get wet and sandy. And when you get home, have that ice sleeve ready to help with muscle recovery
To read the entire article, visit the Runners World website.