Summertime means beach time. The hot weather allows for outdoor workouts and exercise sessions in the sand, utilized by amateurs and professionals alike. Enjoy the wonderful view of the beach and exploit the performance-enhancing training that a session on the sand provides. Running on the beach works your leg muscles harder than similar training on the pavement, which is why many athletes choose to work out at the beach during the off-season. There are, however, a few tips and tricks to be capitalized on, and a few challenges to be wary of.
Sand vs. AsphaltAccording to Dr. R. Amadeus Mason, a team physician for the USA Track and Field team, running on the sand is like ‘’running with weights on your ankles’’. ‘’It is harder to get your foot planted into the ground, and it’s harder to get your foot up off the ground,’’ says Dr. Mason. This means that you will have to generate more power from your ankles to your hips and arms, further strengthening your muscles and joints. Running on sand is like climbing stairs: harder and more demanding than running on asphalt or flat solid ground, but also much more rewarding. Actually, a 1998 study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology found that running on sand consumes more energy than running on asphalt, burning 1.6 more calories per mile. [caption id="attachment_98366" align="aligncenter" width="649"] DANISH ENDURANCE Compression Socks, Black / Yellow[/caption]
If you opt for a training session in the sandTry not to get your feet wet and try to avoid the water. High tides leave soft and dry sand, which is easier on the legs and joints. If you are not used to beach running, try it out when on vacation to see if it suits you well. You can also time your workouts with a low tide and run on packed sand that is close to the water’s edge. This will allow you to run on more solid ground. However, avoid getting too close to the water. One leg landing on the higher slope can create muscular imbalances, easily resulting in injury. [caption id="attachment_98390" align="aligncenter" width="655"] Running on the beach in Dubai[/caption]
- A lot of beaches come with a lot of shells, small animals, and sharp objects lying in the sand. Therefore, we recommend wearing shoes when running.
- To avoid blisters created by the friction that the sand generates, opt for quality sweat-absorbing running socks that will protect your feet during your training. The DANISH ENDURANCE Quarter Pro Athletic Socks is a great option for blister-free training sessions.
- Sand running can cause aches and muscle pains that you have not experienced before due to the needed extra output of force. These side effects are not necessarily a bad thing and can translate into faster times and optimized performance levels.
- The change of scenery and space allows for a rejuvenated feeling, not only contributing to your physical but also your mental health. The ocean, fresh air, sun, and the waves tend to soothe the mind. Exercising in this atmosphere can improve your daily mood.
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