Wednesday, August 21, 2013

And then There is Sand

Summer is a time to get out and about. For me, this summer has taken me all over, from Hudson to Connecticut to New York to Hershey Penn.

And during the thousands of miles I put on our van (and during the one accident – totally not my fault) my sneaks have been along for the ride.

They did come out of the van on occasion too and I got to experience running in all kinds of different places and find some new training tactics.

I told you about the Mt. Everest like “hill” outside Cooperstown, NY, that nearly killed me. My body ached for days and I was suitably humbled by those runs.

Then for a week, I was back in town hitting the concrete, paved roads and sidewalks.  And as they say, water seeks it’s own level. I immediately got comfortable with my nice flat, concrete running areas.
Maybe a bit too soon. 

The beach was beckoning me; and so, with boys in tow, I drove to Nantasket Beach for my annual pilgrimage to the ocean – where I spend time staring out at the water  and fantasizing about being a sea captain.

But in between my Capt. Ahab moments, I laced up and headed out of the hotel and stepped onto the sand.  The result: my distance was HALF – yes HALF – what I normally run; and yet, UGH.

Even compared to running the “Hill” in New York, running on the beach is a killer. Here are some things to keep in mind.

·        It takes about 1.6 times the amount of effort to run in sand, as compared to concrete. Of course, it feels like 5 million times harder
·        Running in the sand activates all kinds of smaller muscles around your ankles and feet as your body works to keep you balanced in the sand.
·        The softer the sand is, the harder you will be working, so you can vary your runs by just running closer or further from the water, or running at low tide
·        Your pace is slower, so you mentally have to deal with that – making your character stronger.

In fact, running in sand is a great suplement to a speed training workout for all these reasons.  Plus, I don’t need to mention, the sound, smell, and feel of the water is so great. 

But it can cause injury, like anything else.  My calves were so sore afterwards.  So use your judgment, see how you feel, then hit the sand. 

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