Running to lose fat is popular here on the Florida Gulf Beaches
Running on the beach is the main way we burn belly fat here on the Florida Gulf Coast. Interval workouts in sand are great for getting rid of stomach fat and building lean muscle.
However, as romantic as it sounds to run the shoreline at sunrise, there are some things to think about before immediately running on beach sand.
* Plan on being warm (hot) and sweaty. I carry a hand towel hanging out of my waistband in back.
* Wear sunscreen, even in the morning.
* Bring water. Run out-and-back loops so you can stop to rehydrate. Also, know where the outdoor public showers are located on your route.
* Wear shoes. I know...the romantic image of running barefoot and free is tough to overcome...until you step on a pull-tab or dropped fish hook.
* Running in the surf does not do much for your fitness. You'll wear down pretty easily after about 60 meters. Stay on the hard sand between the high and low-tide lines. (You'll learn to recognize the shell pattern.)
* Forget about running your normal times. Sand slows you down considerably. Go about 50% of your normal distances the first few runs to gauge your fitness in sand.
* Wash your shoes out frequently. It is good to have a couple of older pairs so you can rotate them. One to run in one while the other is drying out.
* Stretch your calves and feet during your first few weeks. You do NOT want to burst awake at midnight with your muscles going into a painful contraction.
Running on the beach is both fun and great for your fitness. You will be amazed at how much fat you can drop (provided you are eating consciously.) Just be aware that there is some planning involved before you start changing from pavement.