The Beach. It is the vacation destination for many, the dream some get to enjoy year round if they are living on a coast. The beauty and peacefulness draws one to it and there are definite benefits to having it in your repetriore for a running locale. So what benefits and cautions are there to look for in running at the beach?
1. The weather is typically running weather. The beach is usually a sunny place but can have cloud cover and either usually makes for cooler weather on a hot summer day as compared to inland weather. If it is too hot, the water is always nearby to cool off.
2. There is usually a board walk nearby to run on for a flat surface. Many beaches have a designated boardwalk for strolling, running and biking along. There are also usually road sidewalks nearby, if this is not the case.
3. There can be drinking fountains to stop at along the way. This can be an ideal spot to be for a long run that requires many stops for drinks or filling up water bottles.
4. There are runners galore to help pace and motivate you along the way. Picking one out is pretty simple and can pull you forward as you try to reach that runner or walker by a designated time or spot.
5. The ocean makes for a nice ice water bath after a hot run. Many proclaim the ice bath as a vital part of an “after workout” regime for the most stressful workouts to help heal. The ocean is awaiting nearby for you to take a quick dip in.
A few words of caution: The beach can get crowded during the summer months and you may have to slow down some of your runs or practice weaving in and out of people. Also, if you are running on the sand, this can add some extra stress to your body with the slight tilt one direction and the push-off of the sand. If you have an injury or one that could flare up (I.T. band syndrome or calf injuries), this is to be avoided. Perhaps one of the best parts to having the beach nearby is being able to rest on the towel and enjoy a packed picnic lunch after a morning run and make sandcastles with the kids.
What is your favorite part of running at the beach? What are your favorite beaches to run on and why?