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running on sand

I need some advice. I am running in a relay marathon in May and my leg is on the beach. Sand running. I live in Colorado, so there really isn't anywhere for me to prepare for this. I typically run outdoor trails in parks and I was wondering if this is going to be sufficient preparation? Any tips/advice for running in sand? Which shoes are best? I typically run in North Face trail runners or Sauconys. 

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer! :)

Re: running on sand

  • Do you have any freshly plowed fields or lake beaches you can practice a few times though? Shoes don't really matter, and when I run on the beach I run close to the water so it is pretty compact, but getting down there and back will be much harder. Good luck!
  • I'm running a marathon next weekend that has a few beach miles, but that have large mats over the loose sand to get us down to the packed sand. Do you know if they have that? If they do, you'll be fine. Running on packed sand isn't as foreign as you'd think. If they don't have mats & you do have to run on loose sand, just watch your footing. Slow down until you get to the packed stuff. The last thing you want is to twist a knee or ankle.
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  • I suspect that I may know which relay marathon you are talking about, in which case, it's in my hometown. I try to run it every year.

    I agree that if there are any sand-like areas, like on a lake or something, that would be a good option. I might almost try some barefoot/minimalist running occasionally, because running in the sand is hard on your calves. I think you'll be fine though regardless...probably a little slower than usual, but I don't know anyone who has had that much trouble with the sand even after training on pavement.

    Also, last year the tide was so high they had to move it to the street, but I don't think I'd count on that happening again.

  • Thank you all! This is good info. I will make sure to really watch my ankles! Luckily we are not trying to win, just have fun. :)

    Sarah, are you from South Texas? :) That's my hometown, also! 

    I spoke with a friend who has run this leg of the race before and she said it's pretty packed sand for most of the leg, so that's promising. 

  • Yes ma'am, South Texas born and raised. If you stick down by the water, you should be good to go. No one takes it too seriously really, so have fun! I don't know if I'm going to be able to make it this year unfortunately.
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