Six sand running tips from a non-expert

I saw these wild horses during my run at Assateague Island National Seashore. At this point I think I had gone over to the state park side. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

It’s summer, the best time for sand runs. I’ve done three sand runs recently: One on Saturday at Assateague Island National Seashore, and previous runs at Roaring Point Park and Ocean City.

I’m by no means an expert and I’m certainly not a doctor, physical therapist, or anything like that. So if you have a health-related question, consult someone who can better answer you. But here are a few tips I’ve taken away from the runs.

  1. Don’t expect to go fast. This is something I did know before these recent runs, and it’s probably included in most articles on sand running. Do sand runs to gain a different kind of strength (although I couldn’t tell you what it does in particular), for the beautiful scenery and for the dip in the ocean/river/etc. afterward. My latest sand run was only two miles, and it still took me just over 13 minutes per mile. This didn’t even include a decently-long break to take pictures. It did include some walking.
  2. Go to the bathroom first. This one may also go without saying, but when you’re running on the beach, you won’t pass by a bathroom, and you might not have shoes on if you can head up to one. My Ocean City sand run got cut a little short because I had to go.
  3. SandRunningRoaringPoint.PNGDecide whether you want to wear shoes. Again, I couldn’t tell you what this does for your feet, but although it’s tough, I like the feeling of running on the sand barefoot. But I realized from previous runs that the sand at Roaring Point hurt my feet, so I wore shoes there this recent time — an old pair.
  4. You might not want to wear a bikini. I ran in a bikini yesterday, and although it was great for running by the water and beating the heat, I had to keep pulling up the bottoms. It may be safer to stick with running clothes, a one-piece or a sport-type bikini.
  5. Bring a bathing suit. … Because one of the main benefits of a sand run is getting in the water afterward.
  6. Bring a phone/camera. Be sure to keep your phone/camera away from any water and sand, but a sand run is a nice time to bring a phone or camera because you may see something you wouldn’t have otherwise. I snapped the photo of the three horses above at Assateague at my turnaround point (one mile out).

If you decide to do a sand run, have fun and stay hydrated! Feel free to share any tips you have, as well.

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