If you’re leaving for vacation and you are planning on taking your love for running to the shoreline you should read my tips for running on the beach before. It sure is one of the most beautiful places a runner could get a workout done, but it is important to know some pointers before you get ready.
While doing research for this article I’ve spoken to somebody who must know every single advice when it comes to beach runs. Robert “Raven” Kraft (born 1950 from Miami – a man who has seen every single sunset for the past four decades from a strip of sand now called South Beach. Total miles for now? 124.398!
Running on the beach: What you should know
Running on the beach is quiet a challenge. You can ask anyone who ever ran on the sand, it’s way more intense than running on regular pavement. In 1996 researchers found out that beach running takes 1.6 times more energy than running on the road. But why is that?
Running on the beach requires more mechanical work and you will face inefficiency of the work done by tendons and muscles while running on the beach due to the sand’s unpredictable surface.
Beach runs do’s
If you are new to running on the beach it is important to allow your body to get used to the new pavement. Also make sure to always wear sunscreen. A good time to go for a run on the beach will be in the morning before the sun comes out and the temperatures are rising. Proper hydration is a must.
Running on the beach barefoot?
Running barefoot is an amazing feeling of our natural range of motion within our feet. It will help strengthen your feet and ankles. Running on the beach with no shoes requires experience. This is why you shouldn’t go for your first run on the beach without shoes. Running barefoot on sand might lead to plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, or even achilles injuries because your feet aren’t getting any support of your running shoes. Your muscles stretch longer on the beach than they would on harder surface.
Also most beaches tend to have a lot of shells and other sharp objects that might hurt you while you’re running on the beach. If you still want to try to run barefoot on the beach and haven’t done it before, start with shorter runs so that your feet and muscles have time to adapt to the new circumstances. Barefoot running on the beach is possible on some beaches but eventually it will wear out the skin on your feet.
As Raven says: “Running on the beach with shoes on is the better option” Unfortunately there aren’t any shoes out there, which were designed for beach runs. So try to get light shoes with a mesh that doesn’t let sand in. If you didn’t bring any of these kind of shoes on your vacation, your regular running shoe will be just fine as well. It’s unavoidable to keep sand out of your shoes, so wear socks that prevent blisters or put some Vaseline or similar products on your feet before running on the beach.
The Raven Run in Miami
I travel to Miami all the time and I really love running while I’m there. Especially on the beach. There is one runner in Miami who inspires me the first day I saw him running on the beach.
Raven from Miami is a motivating and remarkable runner. You don’t find people everyday who truly found their mission in life. Raven runs 8 miles on the beach every single day. He hasn’t missed a day yet. The first 8 years he ran alone. All by himself. Every afternoon. No one in the world has run more miles on the sand than him.
2600 runners. 87 different countries
And today more than 2600 runners from 87 different countries have completed the Raven Run in Miami. Everyone who runs all eight miles on one of Raven’s daily runs earns a nickname from Raven himself. Raven is a total expert when it comes to running on the beach. For him it’s celebration of life. Running with Raven in Miami isn’t a race. It’s a way of being on the beach in Miami – running along the Atlantic Ocean – watching one of the most beautiful sunsets.
Raven is someone I look up to because he has strength of commitment. He is one of a kind and inspires a whole running community all over the world. “I say, ‘If I can do it every day, you can do it once in a while,’ ” says Raven. “And no matter where they are, wherever in the world they are, they know what time I’m out there.”
Running on the beach every day might sound boring to you but for Raven it has become his life. Even though he doesn’t race, or he is still at the same place as a runner after all these years, the world is coming to him to run with him.
Running on the beach injuries
Raven is a good example that running on the beach is something very special. There is something about it that makes it so enjoyable. I don’t even need music when I’m running next to the Ocean. I just like to listen to the sounds of the waves and breathe in the energy that comes with it. Looking at Raven Kraft today after 40 years of running on the beach his running form had morphed into a tanned and weathered question mark. Raven explained that his back dramatically arched and he suffering serious pain.
Also his chin almost tucked into his chest. Decades of streaking have worsened Raven’s scoliosis, sciatica and spinal stenosis. This won’t happen to you if you run on the beach while you’re on vacation though. The good thing is: Raven is still running and he will continue doing so balanced by an unswerving loyality and generosity. Raven runs slower than before but his passion for beach runs will never fade. Check out his website if you are planning on running with him in Miami.
Did you ever run on the beach? Leave me your favorite beach run experience in the