If you’re a regular runner, I’m sure you have already heard people expound the benefits of running on a sandy beach. You have probably also visualised the romantic setting that such a run would have; the sun cresting the cliffs, the soothing waves beating at your side, and the sand soft between your toes.
However, when my mum and I tried to realise our quixotic dreams of jogging along a sandy beach, the reality turned out to be very different.
We were in Devon, at the end of a very damp week-long holiday. We had been waiting all week for the conditions to improve enough to tempt us to go for an early morning run along the beach, but so far the wind and rain had beaten us back.
On the last morning, we decided we just had to do it. So we geared up and jogged the short distance to the beach. It wasn’t too bad at first, but as soon as we hit the open space of the beach, a battering wind smacked into us. But we soldiered on, putting intense effort into moving our feet forward.
Running on sand, against a strong wind, certainly makes for a great workout. The dull weather also meant that we had the entire place to ourselves, which would have been nice if we could have seen anything other than swirling sand.
After 30 minutes, our progress along the beach had not been great, and we decided to turn back. This was when the fun started. Having turned our backs against the wind, we practically flew across the beach towards home. Our bodies seemed to be moving of their own accord, with very little effort from us.
It took us about 15 minutes to get back to our starting point – half the time it took us on our outward journey!
So, my first experience of beach running wasn’t a particular success. I also have to admit that it is not an experience I have repeated since! (Not without justification). However, the romantic dreams of beach running are once again calling to me… Maybe this summer I will give it another go.
What do you think? Have you tried beach running? Let me know in the comments!