As previously mentioned 2010 started off with a run on a beach in Cancun, Mexico. Well, it just so happened that my second run of 2011 went down the exact same beach.
I always like comparing results from year to year looking for what the improvement has been – or not. It’s just a good way to see how your form is developing.
Two days ago I did an almost 12km run on the beach between our hotel, Puerto Morelos, and the hotels beyond the village and this morning I ran a 5k. Should have been 6k, but a football (soccer) injury made me change my mind. Wouldn’t want to seriously injure myself. In-between the two runs I tested the half ironman swim distance – more on that in a different post.
First a few things about running on a beach:
- the sand means you’re not as fast as usual;
- if you run on the beach, chances are you’re in a warm location – that could well slow you down as well;
- right at the water beaches usually have a downhill from the beach towards the ocean, which means your running ground isn’t level. I suspect that could hurt your knees and hips – watch out for that!
Either way, especially the run this morning brought back memories of last as I was on the beach at 6:30 to enjoy the setting sun. There were a few other runners out, but I guess that most people tend to keep their eyes closed until a bit later in the day.
As mentioned, the football injury kept me from doing my normal run pace (as did stopping to take pictures and video). Basically I’m unable to run heel-strike without pain in my left shin, so I got in 5k of fore-foot running. It made me think that even if fore-foot running just takes you forward at the same pace as heel strike, just being able to sustain fore-foot running for a decent distance adds flexibility to your run, makes sure you can run if heel-strike-specific muscles are injured, and probably just strengthens your leg in general so your normal heel-strike run will be more stabile and powerful.
Either way, those are some of the benefits I saw today and thoroughly enjoyed.