If you have a regular exercise routine, vacation can throw a wrench in the works. If you're visiting Hawaii, however, it doesn't have to – each island has plenty of trails, parks and paths so you can stay active even when you're away from your regular schedule. Want to try something new? Head out from your Hawaii vacation home, and give beach running a try! The sand will make the run easier on your joints, but harder on nearly everything else. You have to work harder to move yourself across an unstable surface, so you'll get a great workout. Here are some tips to get you started:
Run during low tide
The No. 1 tip for running on the beach is to head out during low tide. Usually, the best time of day is early morning. The tide is often low during these AM hours, and you're less likely to find your beach jam-packed with swimmers, surfers and sandcastles. It's also generally cooler in the morning, which can make your running experience more pleasant. Run as close as you can to the water's edge – this is where the sand should be wettest and most level.
"Running barefoot puts you at risk for injuries."
Many beach runners don't wear shoes, but others do. Ultimately, the choice to ditch or not ditch your sneakers comes down to your running style and the beach you plan to run on. Barefoot running helps you develop a more powerful stride. However, without the support from your running shoes, you could easily land an odd way and develop an ache or stress fracture. You also run the risk of cutting your foot on a shell or rock. If you're only planning to run on the beach over the course of a vacation, wearing shoes is probably your best bet. This way you won't have to worry about picking up an injury during your trip.
Pick the right beach
Hawaii has hundreds of miles of beaches to choose from, but not all beaches are equally good for running. A slightly rocky beach might be OK for a runner wearing shoes but could spell disaster for a barefoot runner. In general, however, you want to run on beaches with finer sand. This surface will be easier on your joints and far gentler on your skin if you trip and fall. Moreover, go for a run on a beach that has at least one mile of uninterrupted shoreline. This way you won't get halfway into your workout only to realize you've run out of room!
No matter what time of day you're running, be sure to put on sunscreen. It only takes a little bit of time in the sun to develop a burn, and that's the last thing you want to deal with on vacation. If you normally experience any chafing while you run, you may want to use an anti-rubbing solution in the affected areas before you run on the beach. Sand gets everywhere, and any spot that gets red and raw without sand is going to be a whole lot worse with it.