Since we are at the beach of course I had to give beach running a try. I see people running on the beach every year and I always get a little envious. Since I have been running I have been thinking about running along the waters edge. I expected it to be a different experience but I had no idea how different.
The ground is naturally a softer, shifting surface. Running on the sand, even on the packed sand closer to the water was harder then the asphalt and dirt trails I am used to. The way my feet would strike the ground was very different and there was a bit of drag when I lifted my feet.
The erosion of the coast is very apparent when running, in some spots the ground was so uneven making it more difficult to run steady and to keep pace.
I have been running at 6:00 am at the beach instead of my normal 5:00 am. I am on vacation so I am sleeping in a bit. James thinks this is not sleeping in at all ha! I have found that 6:00 am at the beach is much warmer then 5:00 or even 6:00 am in the mountains. It does make a difference, I tend to prefer cooler temperatures to run, it helps me beat exhaustion. The warmer the temps I run in the more likely I am to break for a walk in the midst of my stride. When it is cooler I can generally keep the endurance and pace better.
In addition to the warmer temperatures the air is also heavier and much more humid. This is very different from the fresh crisp mountain air I am accustomed to on my morning runs at home. These differences made my breathing feel a bit more labored. Once I got accustom to this I was able to regain some control.
The wonderful peaceful ocean breezes felt more like heavy winds when running against them in both directions! They definitely added some resistance training to my runs!
All things combined added about an additional minute to my mile. Not too bad! I tried not to focus so much on my time so that I could just really enjoy the serenity of the ocean as I ran along the shore. It is so peaceful and rewarding. I plan to alternate my runs between the beach and the roads while we are here. I enjoy the challenge the sand offers and the breathtaking scenery is so inspiring!
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