Running in the sand? You’re thinking give me a break. This is a hunting and fitness website not some beach resort hang out. Hang with me though. For a lot of us getting our strides is usually done on flat, hard surfaces. If you’re lucky you get to mix in some trail runs to add a certain level of difficulty to managing the terrain with your feet and ankles. Now think about a surface that is somewhat fluid and changes as you apply the force from your foot.
Strengthens Support Muscles
Consider all the smaller muscles that will be required to stabilize your lower body (especially those in the foot/ankle) as you propel yourself forward in the sand. I can assure you after a good run in the sand the next day you’ll be noticing some soreness in areas that you never knew you had. From a hunting standpoint we are rarely presented with smooth walking surfaces and most of the time the terra firma is horrendous. By strengthening your stabilizer muscles in the off season you’ll be making yourself less susceptible to injury and keeping yourself going longer in the field this fall.
Improves Leg Strength
When launching yourself while running you are essentially using the muscles in your lower body to transfer a force to your foot which in turn is equally and opposite applied back to your body thus pushing you forward. What about when that surface the force is applied too is soft and mushy? It takes more effort to get the same amount of “push” forward. By needing to work harder to gain the same amount of progress you are going to make yourself stronger.
By running on the soft surface of the sand you are forcing your ankles through a greater range of muscle and joint movement than you otherwise would. When you epand your range of motion you are increasing your level of flexibility and incurring all the benefits that go along with such measures.
Less Stress on Your Body
You’re running on a softer surface so you’ll be reducing the amount of impact your body has to absorb. If you’ve got bad knees or just experience too much pain when running maybe running on the sand is your chance to get out and run when you otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
Burn More Calories
You have probably figured this one out by now but if you’re making your body work harder by running on the sand then you’re going to need more energy to fuel it. Calories equal energy any you’ll need them for this workout. So if you need to drop some fat prior to season getting out on the sand will be a step in the right direction.
If you’ve been following me on social media then you probably noticed I have recently been to the beach. I took the opportunity to mix up my training a bit and did some beach running and a few other sand powered training activities. It’s was a great way to get some exercise in while on vacation and make myself a better hunter in the process. So just because you head to the beach with the family doesn’t mean you can’t get some valuable off season training it.