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How to Go Running on the Beach

Sure, it looks easy on Baywatch. But running on sand is a tough, calorie-blasting workout that strengthens your below-the-knee muscles better than hard-surface running.


  • : Always consult a physician before attempting to do any exercise or exercise plan.
  • Step 1: Go at low tide Go for your beach run at low tide when there's more hard-packed sand near the water. It offers a more stable running surface.
  • Step 2: Wear running shoes Wear your trail running shoes, which will help you navigate the uneven surface of the sand and protect you from potential punctures from shells or glass.
  • TIP: Dedicate one pair of shoes for beach running so you don't have to extract every grain of sand after each run.
  • Step 3: Be protected Protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen and a hat. Sunglasses will shield your eyes from UV rays and blowing sand. Dress in layers in case of chilly beach breezes.
  • Step 4: Alternate surfaces Run on the flattest part of the sand close to the water if you’re new to beach running. Work up to running for 2 to 3 minute intervals on the soft, dry sand further from the water.
  • TIP: The poor traction of soft sand will force you to run on the balls of your feet, to lean your body forward, and to drive your knees and arms higher.
  • Step 5: Time it Go by time rather than distance, which is harder to measure. If your usual run is a 30-minute, 4-miler, run in one direction for 15 minutes, and then head back.
  • Step 6: Lose the shoes Ease into barefoot running, which strengthens lower legs, feet, and ankles. Limit your first barefoot run to 15 minutes in firm, wet sand to prevent injury. Then add 5 minutes at a time with short intervals in soft sand.
  • TIP: Go trail running to strengthen your ankles to prepare for barefoot beach running.
  • Step 7: Get wet Kick off your shoes and wade in the water to cool off after a tough workout.
  • FACT: Studies have shown that running on sand burns 1.6 times more calories per mile than running on a hard surface such as asphalt.

You Will Need

  • A beach at low tide
  • Running shoes
  • Sunscreen
  • A hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Layers
  • A watch
  • Trail running practice (optional)

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