T Nation

Running on the Beach


I know how important it is to work lower body...I hate it, but I also love the feeling of barely being able to walk down stairs after a good workout.

Here's my question. I'm just starting a training program. I live on the beach, so for cardio I'm going to go for runs on the beach (makes sense huh?). Now my legs can get quite a workout from running in the sand. Should I therefore slack off just a little on leg day? I don't want to overtrain them. But, as a beginner, they get pretty damned sore from the runs themselves.


I've had beach run splits in my triathlons. You really need to pay attention to your body as you are significantly increasing the stress on your knees / hips and all the little stabilizers in your feet. I would start at half the distance you are used to and a slower pace. Run on the packed part of the sand and start with shoes before moving to barefoot. Overall, I wouldn't make this the only surface you run on nor your only leg workout, it just isn't that great on your body. In fact, if your body is that sore I wouldn't run on the sand at all.


We used to do some sandwork in pre-season. Not my favorite surface. It is very taxing. And if you have Achilles issues, forget about it.


I'm not sure what your goals are but I completely disagree.

Sprinting on the sand barefoot is one of the best things you can do especially for sprinting speed.

I've never run long distances on the sand but then again I'm not a long distance fan to begin with.

Running on sand is good because a. is an unstable surface and provides more resistance than sprinting on say concrete or grass (your feet have a harder time "grasping" the ground so it's more difficult b. is very refreshing being outside on the beach to me personally

Again, one of my goals is to be able to sprint like hell so I'd suggest short (10, 20, 40, maybe even 100 yard sprints). Sprinting short distances can even aid in hypertrophy/mass gains.

Yes, you have to consider the toll it takes on your body and can be just as taxing on your body as squatting/deadlifting if not even more but is equally beneficial.

Just my humble opinion.


Some good points BPC. To addres your original question dharmabum31, no you should not slack off on leg day whether or not you decide to do sand running.


I agree with the other info about sand beach running.

Your question has a simple answer after you consider this question: Which is more important to you now, building strength/hypertrophy in your legs or improving your run times?

Option A, build run times = take it easier on leg strength/hypertrophy days

Option B, build strength/hypertrophy in legs = take it easier on your beach runs

This doesn't mean work hard on one and be an all around slacker on the other, but hopefully you already knew that.

Take care,


This is true. It would depend on goals.