So it's summer in this part of the world and where better to hang out than the beach?! The warm weather and warm sea is very conducive to a bit of exercise, the most natural being running and swimming - and the best thing is you don't even need any special kit! The health benefits to be gained from being in the sea and running barefoot in the water are great, especially from an earthing point of view and from soaking up that all important Vitamin D...but that's another story.
For now here are a few tips to improve your running technique using the beach environment:
- Run on the water's edge in a couple of inches of water. This will encourage you to lift your feet higher and move your legs in a more cyclic motion...if you continue in an old 'jogging' heelstriking motion with the legs swinging like a pendulum from the hips you will trip in the water and fall flat on your face. Well maybe not but you'll certainly kick a lot of water around making running difficult.
- Run on hard sand so that your feet get the sensory feedback they need. Sand that is too soft is hard work and can cause overuse injuries to the untrained and is much like running in cushioned shoes in that it's easy to heelstrike without realising.
- Check your footprints in hard sand. They should be one in front of the other in a nice line. If not then you are wasting energy with too much sideways movement. The print should be of even depth throughout. Deeper in the heel and you're probably heel striking, deep toes and you are pushing off too hard and not lifting the feet enough.
So there you have it, get down the beach and get moving, get fit, get healthy and live longer!
NOTE: The Barefoot Running Coach cannot be held responsible for any abuse aimed at the runner if they are wearing speedos...sensible running shorts or baggies advised.