How To Run On The Beach Without Hating Your Life & Giving Up After 5 Minutes
Summer is basically here, fam, and that means taking the majority of your sweat sessions outside so you don't miss a single minute of that blissful sunshine. Running on the beach, in particular, has recently become my absolute favorite part of working out in the warmer weather, but TBH, I used to despise the struggle that is jogging across miles and miles of damp, stubborn sand. Figuring out how to run on the beach is definitely a process, but once you hit your stride (pun intended), you'll soon find yourself actually looking forward to those head-clearing jogs alongside the ocean.
I'm pretty sure that any runner can attest to the fact that taking your daily jog to the beach sounds great in theory — but once you get there, it literally feels like your legs have turned to lead, and you're casually pushing a baby elephant in front of you as you try to complete a workout that would be a total breeze on land.
But that doesn't mean you should give up and stick to your OG sidewalk runs forever. There are ways to make running on the beach genuinely enjoyable, and with these tips and tricks, you might just find yourself looking forward to a summer filled with sandy workouts and trots along the salty shore.
Try To Run At Low Tide
I'll bet you never thought the tide would be a major game-changer in your beach runs, but according to personal trainer Jenna Epperly, this seemingly small trick makes a huge difference.
"Try to run at low tide, or one to two hours around the lowest point, because it creates a more compact and supportive surface," Epperly tells Elite Daily. "You want to run on as flat of a surface as possible to prevent imbalances in your body and protect your joints."
Consider Ditching Your Sneakers
As much as you love your hot pink Nikes, you'll probably want to leave them in the car during those sandy runs. According to Epperly, if you're comfortable running barefoot, you should take advantage of doing so, because it allows your feet to move through their full range of motion.
Keep in mind, though, that doesn't necessarily mean it'll be easy right off the bat. "If you’re new to sand running, start with shorter increments of time, and gradually build up to longer time frames," she advises. This will help you get used to the unfamiliar feeling of propelling yourself across a sandy surface.
Jog In The Morning Or At Sunset
Personally, this is probably my favorite tip on the whole list, because it's all about finding a time to run that allows you to bask in the beauty of those breathtaking ~beach views~.
According to Premier Protein ambassador Taylor Walker, running on the beach in the morning or evening is ideal because the area will be less crowded, cooler, and more serene overall. Seriously, if you've ever tried running across a crowded beach, I must express my deepest condolences. Not a fun time, girlfriend.
Put Together A Killer Playlist
Music is the real MVP when it comes to helping you slay any sort of workout, and Walker recommends putting together a great playlist to get you through the most challenging of sandy runs. "You'll be able to dig deeper and go longer with a solid set of tunes propelling you forward," she tells Elite Daily.
Ain't that the truth. That "Summer Hits" playlist on Spotify is sounding real good right about now, people.
Try To Run Near The Shore
Running on sand that hasn't been moistened by the water should be considered an acceptable form of torture — just saying. Walker says she always abides by the rule of running near the shore to make beach runs as fun as possible. "The sand is more compact, so you'll get increased resistance from [it] as opposed to running on concrete," she explains.
Plus, if you feel yourself getting all gross and sweaty at any point, Epperly adds, you can just take a quick dip in the water to cool off. Super convenient, right?
Experiment With Adding Intervals
If you're feeling really ambitious and want to challenge yourself even more during your beach workout, Epperly recommends adding intervals of short, fast bursts of running to change your pace and get your heart pumping even more. "[Do this] if you really want to sweat, since running on sand already naturally increases your heart rate," she tells Elite Daily, adding that you can even switch between 15-second sprints on soft and wet sand, if that feels best for you.
Honestly, I'm panting just thinking about it.
Don't Compare Your Beach Runs To Your Regular Runs
If you're new to running on the beach, Epperly says, the worst thing you can do is compare those jogs to your regular cardio on land. "Don’t expect or force yourself to run as fast or as far as you would on pavement," she tells Elite Daily. "The sand increases your resistance, making it more difficult to keep your street pace, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t getting as good of a workout!"
Be patient with your time and distance on the sand, and remember: Comparison is the thief of joy, amirite people?