- Running on the beach
- RUNNING ON THE BEACH: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
- ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT BEACH RUNNING
- Beach Running Tips and Sand Workouts
- When to Run on the Beach
- Shoes Versus Barefoot
- 10 Pro Tips for Beach Running
- Make the Most of Beach Running and Avoid Injuries
- Woman Running Beach Stock Photos
- Two Women Running on the Beach (1922)
- Analysis of Two Women Running on the Beach (The Race) by Picasso
- Women Running on the Beach
- WOMEN RUNNING ON THE BEACH
- 12 recent comments
- 9 Tips For Beach Running
- Beach Running
- What Are The Best Shoes For Running On The Beach?
- Finding The Best Shoes For Running On The Beach
- Are Vibrams The Answer As The Best Shoes For Running On The Beach?
- Beach Running Shoes Need Extra Care
Running on the beach
If you’re leaving for vacation, and you are planning on taking your love for running to the shoreline, you should read these tips for running on the beach before you do so. It is one of the most beautiful places a runner can get a workout done, but it is important to know some pointers before you get ready.
While doing research for this article I’ve spoken to somebody who knows every point of advice when it comes to beach runs. Robert “Raven” Kraft (born 1950 from Miami – a man who has seen every single sunset for the past four decades from a strip of sand now called South Beach. His total miles for now? 124,398!
RUNNING ON THE BEACH: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Running on the beach is quite a challenge. You can ask anyone who ever ran on the sand, it’s way more intense than running on regular pavement. In 1996, researchers found out that beach running takes 1.6 times more energy than running on the road. But why is that?
Running on the beach requires more mechanical work. In addition, because the sand has such an unpredictable surface, your tendons and muscles use more energy when transferring your weight and while staying stabilized. Running on the beach is hard work!
BEACH RUNS DO’S
If you are new to running on the beach, it is important to allow your body to get used to the new running surface. Also, make sure you always wear sunscreen. A good time to go for a run on the beach will be in the morning before the sun comes out and the temperature starts to rise. Proper hydration is a must as well.
RUNNING ON THE BEACH BAREFOOT?
Running barefoot is an amazing feeling of our natural range of motion within our feet. It will also help strengthen your feet and ankles. But keep in mind that running on the beach with no shoes requires experience. This is why you shouldn’t go for your first run on the beach without shoes. Running barefoot on sand might lead to plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, or even injuries to the Achilles tendon, because your feet aren’t getting any support from your running shoes. Your muscles stretch longer on the beach than they would on a harder surface.
Also most beaches tend to have a lot of shells and other sharp objects that might hurt you while you’re running on the beach. If you still want to try to run barefoot on the beach and haven’t done it before, start with shorter runs, so that your feet and muscles have time to adapt to the new environment. Barefoot running on the beach is possible on some beaches, but eventually it will wear out the skin on your feet.
As Raven says: “Running on the beach with shoes on is the better option” Unfortunately there aren’t any shoes out there, which were designed for beach runs. So try to get light shoes with a mesh that doesn’t let sand in. If you didn’t bring any of these kind of shoes on your vacation, your regular running shoe will be just fine as well. It’s unavoidable to keep sand out of your shoes, so wear socks that prevent blisters, or put some Vaseline or similar products on your feet before running on the beach.
THE RAVEN RUN IN MIAMI
I travel to Miami all the time, and I really love running while I’m there. I especially enjoy running on the beach! There is one runner in Miami who has inspired me since the first day I saw him running on the beach.
Raven from Miami is a motivating and remarkable runner. You don’t find people everyday who truly found their mission in life. Raven runs 8 miles on the beach every single day. He hasn’t missed a day yet. The first 8 years he ran alone. All by himself. Every afternoon. No one in the world has run more miles on the sand than him.
2600 RUNNERS. 87 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES
And today more than 2600 runners from 87 different countries have completed the Raven Run in Miami. Everyone who runs all eight miles on one of Raven’s daily runs earns a nickname from Raven himself. Raven is a total expert when it comes to running on the beach. For him, it’s a celebration of life. Running with Raven in Miami isn’t a race; it’s a way of being on the beach in Miami – running along the Atlantic Ocean – watching one of the most beautiful sunsets.
Raven is someone I look up to because he has the strength of commitment. He is one of a kind and inspires a whole running community all over the world. “I say, ‘If I can do it every day, you can do it once in a while,’ ” says Raven. “And no matter where they are, wherever in the world they are, they know what time I’m out there.”
Running on the beach every day might sound boring to you, but for Raven, it has become his life. Even though he doesn’t race, the world is coming to him to run with him.
Raven is a good example that running on the beach is something very special. There is something about it that makes it so enjoyable. I don’t even need music when I’m running next to the Ocean. I just like to listen to the sounds of the waves and breathe in the energy that comes with it.
RUNNING ON THE BEACH INJURIES
Looking at Raven Kraft today after 40 years of running on the beach his running form had morphed into a tanned and weathered question mark. Raven explained that his back dramatically arched and he suffers serious pain.
Also, his chin is nearly tucked into his chest. Decades of running have worsened Raven’s scoliosis, sciatica, and spinal stenosis. The good thing is that Raven is still running, and he will continue doing so, balanced by an unwavering loyalty and generosity. Raven runs slower than before, but his passion for beach runs will never fade. Check out his website if you are planning on running with him in Miami.
Have you ever ran on the beach? Leave me your favorite beach run experience in the comments. And check out an updated Q&A below for some additional information and findings on beach running. There are even some shoe recommendations for beach running!
ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT BEACH RUNNING
BAREFOOT RUNNING TIPS
Although running on the beach is more challenging, and thus better for your conditioning, you need to build yourself up in strength before you rush madly into a thousand yard dash, sans footwear.
Because of the risk of injury when running barefoot in general, plus an uneven running surface like sand, you’re flirting with danger if you get to lax about training on the sand.
Some of the best things to keep in mind for running on the beach:
- Take your time and enjoy the experience. Don’t overwork yourself or run too fast and then get injured.
- Look for the flattest sections of the beach to avoid losing your balance and any breakdown in your form. This could even mean scoping out your route instead of running with reckless abandon.
- Get good shoes for the beach. Running barefoot has its unique benefits, but shoes should be a priority for the majority of training.
- Warm up and stretch accordingly. The beach is beautiful and you might be excited to get running, especially on vacation, but curb your enthusiasm slightly and stretch first!
BEST SHOES FOR RUNNING IN THE SAND
Is it better to run on sand with or without shoes? Running barefoot is always an option, but a risky one at that if you’re not conditioned enough. For most, it’s a safer bet to get a good pair of shoes for your running to prevent ankle, foot, or knee injuries.
Keep in mind that everyone’s anatomy and physiology is different, so finding the right pair of shoes for you is truly up to the individual. Having said that, here are some of my favorite running for beach running:
MOERDENG Men Women Water Shoes
Columbia Drainmaker IV Water Shoe
L-RUN Unisex Water Shoes Barefoot Skin Shoes for Run Dive Surf Swim Beach Yoga
IS RUNNING BAREFOOT BETTER FOR YOU?
“Better” is a loaded word. Running barefoot definitely makes your beach running experience more challenging. So, if you are a veteran of sandy sprints, running barefoot might be the better option for you. Just look out for the spiky shells!
WHY IS RUNNING ON THE BEACH GOOD FOR YOU?
According to a study conducted in Australia, there was considerable carryover for those who ran on sand and later returned to firmer surfaces (like pavement and grass). This means that if you train on sand, you will be a stronger runner on harder surfaces by default.
It’s just not exactly the safest method, considering that beaches are usually slanted, have uneven surfaces, and can cause a breakdown in form as you look to maintain balance. So, once again, make sure you’re approaching running on the beach in a different way than you would your normal training on hard, more secure surfaces.
WHY IS RUNNING ON THE BEACH HARDER FOR YOU?
As I have discussed above, running on the beach is harder because the surface is more uneven. This leads to different weight distributions as you hit the sand. Scientists have measured the “dynamic loading” of sandy surfaces, and even just the slightest change in the wetness of the sand can have an overall impact on how stable the surface. So, instead of getting a mostly uniform hard surface, like when you run on the concrete streets of New York, you need to be constantly vigilant while running.
And because running on the beach is harder, you will burn more calories. Because, after all: more work means more calories burned. But, unless you are healthy and fit enough, or you have the passion and consistency like Raven, consider only running on the beach occasionally, to add some spice to your routine.
Be sure to reach out to me for any coaching needs or advice you may need! And follow me on Instagram for daily motivation.
Few things beat a summertime beach workout (just ask Halle Berry), but if at some point you hear the siren song of the shoreline begging you to run along it, is it okay to leave your sneakers behind and go barefoot?
The answer, as it turns out, reads like a 2007 Facebook relationship status: It’s complicated. That’s because it really depends on what type of workout you’re looking for, according to Marin Heacock, coordinator at the UCLA Exercise Physiology Research Laboratory. “Running barefoot in the sand will provide more of a strengthening exercise , as the body will be over-activating the calf muscles in order to stabilize the foot and pull the toe out of the sand with each stride,” she explains.
Running barefoot in the sand offers up a more challenging workout—but that added intensity can create problems.
New York City-based podiatrist and foot surgeon Yolanda Ragland, DPM, agrees that running barefoot in the sand offers up a more challenging workout—but that added intensity can create problems. “You can wind up spraining your ankle, getting plantar fasciitis, or straining, tearing, or rupturing your Achilles ,” she says, noting that broken shells and other such natural hazards are also a risk. “, running with sneakers is best, but you can work up to running without them gradually.”
On the plus side, all barefoot beach runners—experienced or not—can avoid injury by following a few specific guidelines. For starters, Ragland advises running close to the water, where the sand is more stable. She also says to be sure you’ve selected a flat stretch of sand and that your feet are moving on the same plane and not at different angles. (Often, the tide cuts into the beach in a way that creates a slope—you’ll want to run below or above this.)
For newbies, Ragland offers some additional advice: “Always start off running for far less time than you do on normal surfaces or treadmills,” she advises. “Gradually increase your time on the sand by two-to-three-minute intervals per day to acclimate and allow your feet to make muscle accommodations.”
Emily Jackson, creator of the new #GIRLPWR Running Guide, meanwhile, offers a simple, from-experience trick for knowing when to pull back: “If something begins to hurt or feel uncomfortable, stop and assess what your feet are telling you,” she says. They may after all, be saying it’s time for a lightweight sneaker.
Finding the right footwear should be a part of everyone’s fitness goals. Save your soles by figuring out your feet and learning which shoes go with what sports.
When Kyra Oliver heads out for her morning run, she usually opts for a paved route. But once or twice a week, the 50-year-old San Diegan runs past the start and heads toward the beach instead, where she watches the sun rise and listens to the waves crash as the miles tick by. Running on the sand helps Oliver clear her mind, but it also supplements her training for marathons and 50-mile trail races.
“It works different muscles and requires a different focus for me,” Oliver explains. “If I’m on the packed sand by the water, I can set a nice pace and do short pickups. Running where it’s looser can be a good strength workout that simulates variances I might find on the trail.”
Oliver’s right: Opting for a soft surface like sand is a smart way to add diversity to your regular training routine. By putting in mileage on the sand, you’ll put less stress on your weight-bearing joints, such as your hips, knees, and ankles, which can help decrease the risk of impact-associated injuries like stress fractures, says Erika Lee Sperl, a kinesiologist and high-performance sport consultant for Orreco, a sports and data analytics company in Los Angeles that helps elite athletes optimize performance.
Research backs that up. Studies have shown that running on the beach, especially on soft, dry sand that’s typically found farther from the water’s edge will likely lower your odds of impact-associated overuse injuries. In a small 2017 study published in the European Journal of Sport Science, for example, women who ran on soft sand experienced less muscle damage and inflammation than those who ran on grass. And a 2014 study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences found that the soft surface even reduced muscle soreness and fatigue.
“With every foot strike, there is almost four times less impact force on soft sand versus firm ground like grass,” says Martyn Binnie, Ph.D., a physiologist at the Western Australian Institute of Sport and coauthor of the latter study. “This is a good thing for reducing load through the body,” he says. So when you need a lower-impact session but still want to get in a hard workout, sand is a great option.
“If you want the big benefits, you need to aim for the soft stuff.”
But there’s a flip side to every coin, and while running on soft sand makes you less likely to suffer an impact injury, the chances of other injuries (like a sprained ankle or tendinopathy) rise, says Armin Tehrany, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon and founder of Manhattan Orthopedic Care in New York City. An uneven surface and constantly shifting ground are to blame, he explains, but as long as you exercise caution, those are two factors that can also enhance your workout. “You’ll have to work harder , and as a result, you will get a better workout if you spend the same amount of time on sand,” he says.
In fact, a 2013 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that running on sand forces your body to work at least 10 percent harder than it does on grass. Again, soft, loose sand is where you’ll score the most benefits, says Binnie, who conducted the study, but even firm, packed-down sand can boost your performance.
“Firm sand near the water is still about 5 to 10 percent softer than grass,” he explains. “ if you want the big benefits, you need to aim for the soft stuff.”
So what exactly makes sand so special? Binnie says that when you run on firm ground, less elastic energy, which is stored in your tendons, is absorbed, so you don’t have to work quite as hard. Sand doesn’t extend that courtesy. Instead, it absorbs that energy, meaning you have to generate more force with your muscles. Proof: A study published in The Journal of Experimental Biology found that running on sand actually requires 1.6 times as much energy expenditure as running on a firmer surface.
Couple that with the fact that your hip- and knee-stabilizing muscles are working nearly twice as hard, according to a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, and you’ve got a recipe for a higher heart rate and blood lactate threshold, says Binnie. Translation: Your cardiovascular training gets a boost without the added stress of having to run faster or farther. Those aren’t the only benefits you’ll gain, either.
“Running, especially on the road or a treadmill, is a very uni-planar, repetitive exercise, which can lead to muscular imbalances. Often the common weakest links for runners
are the glutes, hamstrings, hips, and ankles,” Sperl says. “By running on sand and challenging your stability, you’ll start to build strength in these areas, which can carry over to performance benefits on the road.”
Binnie notes that because of the different technique and range of motion used on sand to combat the “slip” element, the joint angles around the hip, knee, and ankle are similar to those normally seen during faster running speeds on firm ground. So, theoretically, he says that if you wanted to improve your road running time, then incorporating sand running into your training, specifically early in the season, can help augment training adaptations. That’s why each expert suggests adding a sand run into your routine on a regular basis if you have access. If not, hit the beach on vacation.
You should, of course, be smart about it. Ease into any new training technique slowly to minimize soreness and reduce injury risk. Always warm up and focus on the posterior chain (calves, hammies, glutes), which is activated more on the sand, Sperl says. Go slower than you think you have to. Sand is harder to run on, so Binnie suggests giving your body two weeks to adjust before increasing time and intensity. Tehrany suggests also aiming for time, not distance. That way, you’ll net a more challenging workout in the same number of minutes than you would on pavement. And always focus on your form. Sperl points out that the instability of sand will force you to shift forward naturally.
To go barefoot or not is a big question, and Sperl says the answer is often based on preference and where you’re running. When staying close to the water, most runners wear shoes to protect their feet from crushed seashells or small rocks, while those in softer areas usually go barefoot so sand doesn’t fill their shoes.
But Tehrany says to think twice before ditching your shoes. Keeping them on makes an ankle and foot injury less likely because the shoes act as an ankle stabilizer and provide elevated heel and arch support that your feet are used to, he explains. How often you hit the sand—and in which way—depends on your personal fitness and goals. Sperl, for example, turns to sand for added resistance during short interval speed sessions, whereas Binnie suggests doing long, slow runs on the beach when you’re not gearing up for a road race.
“The greatest difference in energy cost between sand and firm surfaces occurs at slower running speeds, as you spend more time in contact with the surface during foot strike,” he explains.
So while doing those slower runs on the sand means you’re likely not moving any faster, you’ll be getting a better overall workout. And what runner doesn’t want that?
Samantha Lefave Freelance Writer Samantha Lefave is an experienced writer and editor covering fitness, health, and travel.
Beach Running Tips and Sand Workouts
Capitalize on the beauty of the beach and the strength-enhancing workout running on sand provides. Beach running—especially on dry, loose sand—strengthens your arches, ankles and other below-the-knee muscles more than running on harder surfaces.
“Running on sand requires you to generate more force and work through a fuller range of motion, from your ankles to your hip flexors and arms,” says Big Sur Distance Project elite coach Bob Sevene.
Several studies have found that running on sand consumes more energy than running on asphalt, burning as many as 1.6 more calories per mile. There’s also much less impact force when you run on sand.
More: Sand: A Solid Foundation to Build Your Running Skills
When to Run on the Beach
A falling or low tide creates the most level, hard-packed surface for running. As the water recedes, it leaves hardening sand behind—similar to a soft trail that’s forgiving on the body.
Check the local tide reports before your beach run. Ideally, you want to run at low tide or within an hour or two around the lowest point. Stay close to the edge of the water without getting your feet wet. Some beaches have extremely low tides and allow more room away from the edge of the water to run and still be on packed sand.
A high tide leaves soft, dry sand, which is kindest on the legs, but it’s also much harder to power through (it makes 10-minute miles feel like speed work). Because of the added difficulty, your first beach runs should be done in running shoes in the hard, wet sand next to the water, preferably on a falling or low tide.
Shoes Versus Barefoot
Running barefoot on sand allows your feet to move through their natural range of motion, which helps to strengthen your feet and ankles. If you start running barefoot on the beach too fast or too frequently, you could get injured. Start with short runs, just 15 to 20 minutes, to build strength in your feet. Gradually add five minutes to your barefoot runs as your body adapts.
More: Barefoot Running Tips for Beginners
Be cautious that running barefoot on sand can lead to or worsen plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains or Achilles injuries because you don’t have the support of shoes; therefore, the muscles get stretched longer than they would on a harder surface.
More: Plantar Fasciitis Prevention Tips
Beaches tend to have a lot of shells and other sharp objects you need to watch for—therefore, I recommend wearing shoes when running on the beach. There aren’t specific shoes designed for running on sand, so you have many options. Using your regular road running shoes is perfectly fine. A lighter-weight trail shoe is also a good choice because of the added grip.
Whether you live near a beach or your travels take you to one, running on the sand provides a soft running surface, and a view.
Your run on the beach can be extremely challenging—especially if you run in deep sand. Or, it can be just as mellow as a run on a flat trail.
Here are some beach running tips to help you enjoy your next jaunt by the sea:
Check the Tides
A low tide creates the most level, hard-packed surface for running. As the water ebbs, it leaves hardening sand behind that’s still forgiving—like a soft trail—underfoot. Ideally, you want to run at the lowest tide of the day, or an hour or two around the lowest point, and stay close to the water’s edge without getting your feet wet. Running at high tide leaves you with just soft, dry sand, as the tide is rising and taking over more and more of the beach. In beach communities, local newspapers print high and low tide times each day, and there are a couple online resources for tide charts, such as the one found here: tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov.
Check Your Knees
Some beaches have more slanted surfaces than others, but even the most level beaches, at the lowest tides, have some slant to them. And generally speaking, the higher the tide, the more angled the sand. Running on an angled surface can wreak havoc on your knees and hips. Make sure you run out and back. The unevenness isn’t good for either leg, but it’s better to put both legs through the paces than just one (for instance, running down a beach in one direction, then back on the road). But if you feel knee or hip pain, stick to the roads or level trails.
Deep Sand Workouts
Even if you can’t get down to the beach at low tide for the hard-packed sand, running in deep sand once in a while is a great kick in the butt. Sand, like soft snow, gives with every step, so your leg muscles (hello, burning calves) will feel the burn. This can be really convenient, though, if you don’t have much time for a run. Doing a short workout in deep sand will rarely leave you wishing you had more time for a longer run.
Sunscreen is a must, as running next to the water will give you the reflective rays as well as from directly overhead. Sunglasses and a hat or visor are also helpful in keeping you comfortable and focused on your run, instead of that fireball in the sky blinding you. And if you do a lot of beach running, look for shoes that have tight mesh over open mesh. A closed mesh can keep your shoes from filling up with sand when you’re running on the soft stuff. And since it’s sometimes inevitable to get a little sand in, wear socks that ward off blisters. Thin, synthetic options work well. And if your sock and shoe combo still isn’t abating the rub, consider a lubricant like Sportslick or BodyGlide for long runs, especially long runs where your feet might get wet and sandy.
Take Advantage of Where you Are
Nothing caps off a great beach run better than a jump in the ocean (and thank goodness for quick-drying run apparel). A soak in the sea won’t give you the same recovery benefits as an ice bath—unless you’re running on a beach in Maine in the winter—but it will undoubtedly leave you refreshed. And to take advantage of more surroundings, hop over piles of seaweed or other obstacles for agility training, and race the sun as it sets into the water for speedwork.
10 Pro Tips for Beach Running
The experts at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute have considerable experience treating runners’ injuries. This is the advice they recommend to beach runners.
Have you been witness to the barefoot running craze? Have you tried barefoot running yourself? In the past several years, the popularity of running has expanded massively. In particular, the popularity of barefoot running (including beach running) has exploded.
Citing the lifestyles and morphological development of prehistoric humans, numerous athletes and physicians have advocated for barefoot running as a healthy mode of activity with unique physical benefits. Among these barefoot benefits, research suggests that this mode of running can strengthen muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the foot (especially the Achilles tendon and calf muscle), improve gait, and reduce the risk of certain injuries, such as Achilles tendinitis.
One of the best settings for barefoot running is the beach, and beach running itself has special benefits— both for the true barefoot beach runner and the runner who utilizes beach running shoes.
Read on to learn about how to approach beach running in order to maximize health and exercise benefits while minimizing risks.
Make the Most of Beach Running and Avoid Injuries
While beach running can be an extremely healthy activity, improper technique can compromise benefits to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons—and, in some cases, can cause serious injury.
Following these ten beach run tips can help to ensure that your running experienceis healthy, productive, and fun.
Select the right beach.
Simply picking the right setting can make an enormous difference in terms of the quality and safety of your running experience. The best beaches for running feature long, uninterrupted shoreline areas, few hard rocks and shells, and a flat, even sand surface.
Sand type matters.
The most important element of the beach for runners is the sand itself. A firm, packed sand surface will produce less stress on your feet and calves and reduce the risk of injury and accidents due to loose, unstable sand.
Take advantage of low tide.
One of the best ways to ensure a stable, firm running surface on the beach is to run during low tide on the damp sand at the water’s edge.
Beach running requires considerably more muscular effort from your feet and legs and produces more stress on your muscles and ligaments. For this reason, it is important to begin running activity on the beach gradually and build up intensity over time.
Keep runs short.
Even after acclimating to beach running, it is important to keep the added stress on your muscles, tendons, and ligaments in mind and maintain shorter runs than you would on hard surfaces. A shorter run on the beach is equivalent to a longer run on pavement.
If needed, wear shoes.
While most beach runners prefer running barefoot, there are instances where wearing shoes during beach runs is advised. If beaches feature numerous shells or rocks, if you have a history of ligament issues or injuries, or if you require arch support, wearing shoes is recommended.
Be cautious of lacerations.
While on the topic or rocks and shells, it’s important to maintain a heightened level of situational awareness anytime one runs barefoot—including the beach. Keep an eye out for objects in the sand that could cause lacerations of your feet.
Avoid the heat of the day.
The period between noon and three o’clock is the hottest part of the day. With high sun exposure and hot conditions, the beach can cause heat exhaustion. To stay safe, avoid running during the heat of the day.
Sunburns compromise your body’s ability to cool itself. To avoid burns and overheating during your beach runs, apply a generous amount of sunscreen prior to running.
Be cautious of Plantar Fasciitis
Beach running can stretch the muscles and ligaments of your feet, causing an increased risk of plantar fasciitis(as well as ankle sprains, Achilles tendinitis, and more). If you have a history of these types of injuries, approach beach running with caution and moderation.
Beach running is a fun, healthy activity— when performed with proper technique in the right conditions. Keep these ten tips in mind before your next beach run and you’re likely to have a great experience. If you should suffer an injury, the experts at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute specialize in sports medicine; they can offer you the best treatment options available. To learn more, visit us hereor contact us at 1-800-321-9999.
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Two Women Running on the Beach (1922)
Analysis of Two Women Running on the Beach (The Race) by Picasso
In June 1922 Picasso went to Dinard in Brittany with his wife Olga and their son, remaining until the end of September. This little panel painting was completed there. Although diminutive in scale, it is as monumental in effect as anything Picasso painted, and, greatly enlarged, it was used for the curtain of “Le Train Bleu”. This was a new ballet, with a chic and amusing story-line by Jean Cocteau, scenery by Laurens, costumes by Coco Chanel, and music by Milhaud, and it was first performed by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees on 20 June 1924. The theme was games on the beach – hence the choice of Picasso’s painting for the curtain.
In 1928 when he was in Dinard again, and after he had begun his liaison with the much younger Marie-Therese Walter, Picasso painted a series of pictures of bathers in striped swimsuits playing ball on the beach, provoked partly perhaps by his memories of the ballet. They, like this painting, allude humorously to the cult of sport and fitness prevalent in the 1920s.
The classical sources of The Race have often been discussed, and it has been pointed out that the two girls rushing wildly along the shore are maeneds in ecstasy , based either on antique originals (reliefs on Bacchic sarcophagi or similar scenes on Greek vases), or on neoclassical derivatives (such as paintings by Nicolas Poussin of Bacchanalian revels). Most of the neoclassical paintings Picasso made after the war were absolutely static, in imitation of the famed calm, serenity and order of both Greek art and later Roman art. However, a substantial body of his ‘minor’ works – whether small paintings or drawings – depicted unleashed frenzy and passion, of the kind identified as quintessentially ‘Dionysiac’ by Nietzsche in The Birth of Tragedy (1872). (Nietzsche had described this ‘Dionysiac’ strain as the ever-present counterpart to ‘Apollonian’ serenity, and argued that the Greek cult of reason and serene beauty was a sublimation of the dark, anarchic forces of the human psyche released in the Dionysiac cults.)
In 1925 Picasso gave his most memorable and alarming statement of the Dionysiac impulse, this time in a large painting, Three Dancers (1925, Tate Collection, London). The middle and left-hand figures there are based on the two women in The Race.
NOTE: Other leading modernists also contributed to the classical revival. For example, De Chirico produced Song of Love (1914) and Uncertainty of the Poet (1913). Leger produced: The Mechanic (1920); Three Women (1921); Nudes against a Red Background (1923); and Two Sisters (1935). Carlo Carra produced several Giotto-inspired works, such as The Drunken Gentleman (1916).
Explanation of other Paintings by Picasso
La Vie (Life) (1903) Cleveland Museum of Art.
Portrait of Gertrude Stein (1906) Metropolitan Museum, NY.
Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) MOMA, NY.
Guernica (1937) Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid.
Weeping Woman (1937) Tate Modern, London.
Women Running on the Beach
It is a miniature piece, on plywood. It was painted using gouache, a watercolour paint which results in a more opaque finish than standard watercolours.
The painting depicts two women, dressed in a classical style, racing across a beach. As they run, hand in hand, arms aloft, their clothes appear to be falling off. They seem to be oblivious to their state of undress, as they dash across the sand.
They are running at speed, with joyful abandon, hair blowing in the wind. One woman is staring at the sky, while the other is looking towards the sea.
The work is painted from a strange perspective, with the woman in the background appearing much larger than one in the foreground. Her body looks strangely distorted, with her right leg extending far behind her, much further than would be humanly possible.
Her left leg also appears to be at a strange angle, in front of the woman in the foreground. As such, the larger of the two women appears to envelop the smaller, managing to be both behind and in front of her, at the same time. It is unclear if they are racing, but the larger woman appears to be striving to stay ahead of her companion.
The left arms of both women appear to be longer and thicker than the right. Again, this plays with the perspective, with the arms closest to the viewer being smaller than the limbs further away.
Both women are portrayed with tanned bodies, painted, in sharp relief, against a brilliant blue background of sea and sky.
As with many of his paintings from this period, Picasso alludes to a classical style. It is often said the two women resemble “maenads,” passionate female followers of Dionysius, the Greek god of wine. Certainly, the clothing of both women appears to be of Greek origin.
Although classical in style, “Two Women Running on the Beach” is the antithesis of much of his other work during this period, eschewing the formal approach for an altogether more carefree attitude.
A much larger version of this work was used, as a backdrop curtain, in the staging of the ballet “Le Train Bleu.” Set in the prestigious French resort of Deauville, this ballet depicted the lifestyle of the rich and famous, of the time. The title came from the name of the train, which transported them from Calais to the beach.
Unsurprisingly, for someone born in Spain, the beach is a recurring theme in Picasso’s work and is the subject of many paintings, “Bather with Beach Ball” and “The Bathers” being two further examples. However, few of his beach paintings evoke such a joyous image, of a day spent in the sun, as “Two Women Running on the Beach.”
He was hugely influential in the creation of modern art, and, arguably, the most famous painter of the 20th Century.
Throughout his life, Picasso continually developed and embraced new ideas and styles. He worked, tirelessly, to create thousands of paintings, prints and sculptures.
Unlike many artists, whose work is only appreciated after their death, Picasso enjoyed much fame and fortune during his lifetime.
WOMEN RUNNING ON THE BEACH
12 recent comments
31 January Tomad from San Francisco wrote:
‘What is the white object on the table? Next to the blue coffee pot.’
15 January finlay coombs from london wrote:
‘this is the best I have ever seen this year’
06 January jenna from earth wrote:
‘This is a lovely piece but looks kind of fake’
05 December D from Asia wrote:
‘I think it’s fake. True one is different’
19 November ameca from Asia wrote:
‘I love this’
06 October Virat from INDIA wrote:
‘Sir, i want to know the location of this original artwork,mother and child.’
23 August admin from SPB wrote:
‘Michele, did you mean this print?’
22 August Michele Whiting from Cinncinati art museum wrote:
‘They claim a similar piece same name same year but the head tilts up and to right. No picture of this on your site. Is this a part of a series? A misnamed piece?’
22 August Michele from Cinncinati art museum wrote:
‘Seeing it in person a definite highlight.’
22 August Karin Henkel from Göttingen wrote:
‘Ich suche dieses Bild “Mere et enfant, etude de mains” als gut erhaltenen Druck. Bitte alles anbieten. Wer kann mir weiter helfen?’
11 August admin from Göttingen wrote:
‘you’re rigth, thanks!’
10 August sim from Canberra wrote:
‘This work is not made in 1930 but 1937 and the title is ‘Still life with mask”
As if being on the beach isn’t beautiful enough, running barefoot on it can have promising results for your training. Not only does running on the beach help strengthen your calves, arches and knee muscles, but there’s also less impact on your legs than running on the road. As an avid runner from a quaint beach town, I can certainly attest to the positive effects of running on the sand. A great time to go is at low tide, which makes the sand a harder compact surface (very similar to trail running). High tide leaves the sand soft and dry and can be quite challenging and difficult to power through. (However, this can be an effective workout.)
Aside from the zen that a beach setting can offer, here are some other benefits to running along the shoreline:
Related: Is Barefoot Minimalist Running Really Better For You?
- You can burn more calories. According to a study performed by The Journal of Experimental Biology, people who run on the softer sand use close to one and a half times more energy than those who run on the roads. The more difficult the running task is, the more energy you put out, therefore the more calories you burn.
- You can get faster. Running barefoot on the beach enhances your abilities to become a faster runner. A study at the University of Western Australia claims that an athlete has to push into the sand with greater force to go a certain speed. Therefore, athletes who run on softer sand use more power at a certain speed than they would if they were running at the same speed on the road.
- You can strengthen that lower body. Barefoot running on the beach helps to strengthen your lower body. According to Daniel Lieberman, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard University, barefoot running and walking helps to strengthen the muscles in the foot and the ankle. As runners, building these muscles not only leads to better performance but also avoids injury.
- You can get more coordinated. Not only do barefoot beach runs contribute to a better posture, but they also help to make you more aware of your surroundings. With every step, you feel both your feet and the ground. This type of running is instinctual and allows you to be present with yourself and the environment around you.
- You deal with less hard impact. The soft surface of the beach as you run is very forgiving on your joints and muscles. It gives them a break from the constant pounding of the concrete, thus minimizing the overall strain on your body.
Related: 6 Modifications To Make Strength Workouts Low-Impact
Last winter, I spent some time in Los Angeles, and was thrilled at the opp to kick off my boots and go for short run on the beach. But less than two miles in, my legs were WAY more tired than I anticipated, my feet started burning (turns out the sand was creating some major blisters), and I wasn’t even close to my mileage goal—I ended up hobbling back to my car in shame…such a rookie mistake.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t run on the beach—but you should know what you’re getting yourself into before you do.
“As beautiful as a beach run may sound, it’s far more challenging than we like to think,” says Jess Movold, a running coach at Mile High Run Club in New York City, “which makes a beach run an incredible workout to add into your summer routine. With added resistance from the sand, your heart rate rises faster and your muscles have to work harder.”
So before you give up the pavement for the sand, take note of Movold’s must-know tips.
1. Really Warm Up Your Legs
Running on the beach is going to work your leg muscles harder than the pavement, so it’s even more important that you make time for a dynamic warm-up that targets your posterior chain—that means: forward lunges, hip circles, high knees, and butt kickers, says Movold. And with the uneven terrain, you’re going to want to prep your ankles. “Do some seated ankle rotations in both directions; calf raises to wake up the arches in your feet,”
Body weight squats are also great to work on your range of motion, activate the glutes, and open up the hip flexors, adds Movold. Here’s how to do them with proper form:
2. Slow Down Your Pace
It’s so exciting and gorgeous to run alongside the ocean, but don’t think that exhilaration is going to boost your speed. “Running the ‘average’ speed you’re used to running on a road will feel unbearable once you try that pace on the sand,” says Movold. “The change of terrain and lesser impact of the sand will make it feel like you’re strapping ankle weights to your legs.”
Don’t stress about the pace on your fitness tracker; just enjoy the views. If you do want to incorporate speed, “do so by operating in a mode of perceived exertion,” Movold says. “Find a speed that feels like 85 percent exertion, knowing it will be significantly lower than a pace you would keep on a harder surface.”
3. Plan on Running for Time, Not Distance
It’s great to go out for a run and say: “Hey, I’m going to log 3 miles today, let’s go!” The beach is not the place for that. The sand itself makes your hip- and knee-stabilizing muscles work twice as hard, a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found. And running on sand requires 1.6 times as much energy expenditure as running on a firmer surface, according to a study published in The Journal of Experimental Biology.
That all means three miles might feel like 13, which could set you up for disappointment if you don’t meet your mileage. Set a realistic time goal instead.
4. Remember: Not All Sand Is Created Equal
Maybe you love running in the soft, warm sand; maybe you prefer the damp, packed sand by the ocean. Both have benefits, and you should try running on both parts of the beach. “The softer the sand, the more challenging your run becomes,” says Movold. “Start on the harder, wet sand to build tolerance to the resistance and difficulty, then you can progress to the softer sand as those little muscles in your feet get stronger.”
Try the “Zig-Zag” beach workout to acclimate:
- Two mins on soft sand.
- Two minutes on the harder sand for recovery.
- Continue for as long as you feel like running.
If you’re more injury-prone, though, stick to the soft sand; you’ll experience less muscle damage and inflammation than running on a harder surface, according to study published in the European Journal of Sport Science, and less muscle soreness and fatigue, research published in the Journal of Sports Sciences says.
5. Mind the Slope
The slant and angle of the beach have a major effect on your body when you run. “If you’re going in one direction, one leg won’t be as fully extended and will be taking more impact on the knee and hip than the other side,” says Movold. “Even out the disconnect by changing directions for half of your run.” Start with 10 minutes in one direction, then 10 in the other direction; you can add on time as your comfort level increases.
6. Keep Your Shoes On—At Least At First
Wearing shoes on the beach might seem counterintuitive—aren’t you here to shed those sneakers and feel your toes dig into the sand?! Well, according to Movold: “It’s important to start your beach running journey with shoes on. This will give you some ankle support and stability before going full-throttle barefoot running.”
Since your shoes provide ankle stabilization and general foot support, running without them plus running on a new terrain could prove too much for your feet on your first go (*ahem*, remember my experience?). “On your second day of beach running, you can go for no shoes, spending time on the harder sand before moving into the softer,” Movold says.
7. Add on Time Gradually
“The muscles in our lower legs and especially the feet are working twice as hard on a beach run than on pavement,” says Movold. In fact, your body is still working 10 percent harder on the sand than it does on grass, according to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
“Because of the overuse of shoes in our daily lives, the intrinsic muscles in our feet have become de-conditioned,” says Movold. “So beach running should be done conservatively to gradually build those stronger small foot muscles that are doing more work than they’re used to.”
8. Keep It to Three Times a Week
If you’re a regular runner racking up miles, you don’t want to do them all on the beach—and if you’re new to it, even one day a week is fine. “Beach running is a significant workout!” says Movold. “Take a day in between for recovery until you feel ready to add an additional day into your workout routine.”
Ashley Mateo Ashley Mateo is a writer, editor, and UESCA-certified running coach who has contributed to Runner’s World, Bicycling, Women’s Health, Health, Shape, Self, and more.
9 Tips For Beach Running
If you are looking to turn up the tempo and try something new, then beach running could be the strength-enhancing workout you’re looking for. Running on sand has many advantages. From the beautiful ocean view to the added resistance, your heart rate will rise faster and your muscles will work harder.
While a beach run can be an extremely invigorating activity, the inappropriate technique can potentially harm your muscles, ligaments, and tendons—and, in some cases, can cause serious damage.
Whether you are new to beach running or have given it a go without having much success, these 9 tips will help you to engage in an ultimate experience that will leave you and your body in good spirits.
1. Select The Right Beach At The Right Time
Picking the right beach will make all the difference, especially for first-time beach running attempts. The right setting will improve the quality and safety of your running experience and will leave you with a taste for more instead of being completely put off.
We suggest you pick beaches that have uninterrupted shorelines with flat and even sand surfaces. You should also try to avoid strips that have many seashells and hard rocks.
As for timing, we encourage you to take advantage of the low tide, this way, you will have a firm running surface and you can run close to the water’s edge.
2. Sand Type Matters
The sand is (obviously) the most important element of beach running and choosing the right type to run on is paramount. A firm sand surface where the grains are packed tightly together will be easier on your legs and will reduce the stress placed on your feet and calves. Loose and soft sand, on the other hand, provides an unstable surface that could put you at risk of injury.
3. Start Slowly And Keep Your Runs Short
As exhilarating as a beach run may sound, we plead with you to take things slow, no matter how fit you are. Beach running puts a considerable amount of strain on your muscles and ligaments and your body might not be quite prepared to feel so much stress so quickly. For this reason, it’s crucial to start your beach workout gradually and build up the intensity over time.
Even once you are used to the intensity of this running style, we still urge you to keep each run shorter than your usual time spent on less strenuous paths. It’s important to keep the added stress on your legs in mind and remember, a shorter run on the beach is equivalent to a long run on the pavement.
4. Shoes Vs Barefoot
This is quite a controversial topic and many runners have different opinions. So, we will give you insight into each option and leave the final decision up to you.
Running barefoot on the beach will allow your feet to move through their natural range of motion. These movements can help to strengthen the muscles in your feet and ankles. Running on cool and damp sand also feels glorious and you will be exfoliating your feet at the same time!
A good pair of running shoes will help to keep your ankles stable and give good overall foot support so that you can effectively navigate your way over the sand. Running without trainers plus attempting a new terrain could prove to be too much for your feet and you’ll be more prone to muscle and ligament injuries. Sharp shells and rocks could also be a problem and a run could be cut short if you puncture your skin.
5. Wear Sunscreen
Even when days are cool and cloudy, wearing sunscreen with a sufficient SPF is recommended. While it might not feel hot outside, the sun’s UV rays are still bouncing around the water and you could be their end target.
Sunburns compromise your body’s ability to cool itself and this will not only make your run uncomfortable, but it will also leave you feeling sore and tender for at least a few days after. Lather your skin with sun lotion before heading out and you’ll feel much better.
6. Avoid The Heat Of Day
The beach can be brutal when the temperatures are high and if you are attempting a beach run in the summer, our advice (and we hope you take it) is to run during the cooler hours of the day.
The period between 12 pm and three o’clock is the hottest part of the day. If you run in the heat during this time you will be exposing yourself to extreme conditions that could lead to heat exhaustion. For this reason, early morning and late afternoon is the best time for coastal running.
7. Make Sure You Warm Up Properly
If you are not already in the good habit of warming up before a run, you might want to take this step more seriously before attempting a beach workout.
Running on sand is going to work your leg muscles harder than solid terrains, making it even more important to warm your muscles up in preparation for the challenge that lies ahead. If you choose not to warm-up, please know that you will be at risk of injury and muscle cramps. An Adequate warming session for beach running should include ankle rotations, forward lunges, hip circles, high knees, and butt kickers – at the very least.
8. Stay Well Hydrated
This part is so important. You should drink a copious amount of water whenever you workout and when you run on a humid beachfront, this rule applies more than ever. The salty air will dehydrate you faster than most climates and the humidity and heat will have you building up a sweat much quicker than usual. Make sure you carry water while running at all times and remember to take regular sips.
9. Be Cautious Of Plantar Fasciitis
Running on sandy surfaces can put a lot of strain on the muscles and ligaments of your feet, resulting in an increased risk of plantar fasciitis. If you have a history of foot injuries, you might want to be more cautious with your approach to beach running and stick to moderate sessions. In this scenario, we also encourage you to wear shoes with insoles for plantar fasciitis instead of embracing the barefoot approach.
- 10 Pro Tips for Beach Running – Rothman Orthopaedics
- 8 Things You Need To Know Before Running On The Beach – Women’s Health
- Beach Running Tips and Sand Workouts – Active
What Are The Best Shoes For Running On The Beach?
What are the best shoes for running on the beach? I recommend purchasing the sturdiest shoe you can, with little lateral movement, since beach running is so uneven and you are making adjustments with each step.
As you can see, from the above picture, I use an old pair of Asics Gel -1140. Even after a couple of years, they are still in great shape.
The one major difference you find between running on the beach, and running on pavement, is that the soles do not breakdown near as much.
However, the “uppers” (the material that encloses your feet) really takes a pounding due to sand and salt water. This is where I usually see my shoes aging the quickest.
No matter how hard you try, you will still mis-time a surge in the tide, and end up stepping in sea water several times during your training, each day.
Finding The Best Shoes For Running On The Beach
Everyone is different, but I selected my shoes because they were wide, straight-lasted (as opposed to curve-lasted), the arch support was superior to all others, and they have good cushioning.
I like the wider soles because they provide more surface area for your foot strike. Trust me, there will be lots of places during your run when you will have to slow down and “run like a duck” due to the uneven surfaces of the sand.
Just so you know, running on the beach has a lot of romanticism attached to it. When you see pictures in magazines or in TV ads, the people are striding along, without a care in the world.
In reality, beach running requires you to be constantly vigilant…especially at high-tide when you cannot run on the hardpacked shoreline.
Knees, hips, and ankles move around in planes you never even imagined in real-life running. The sand is full of continual dips, troughs, and elevated crests. Yes, they are small…but if you are not paying attention, you can get injured in the blink of an eye.
I shop for the sturdiest shoe possible. Other guys are just the opposite. They get lighter shoes because they say they are able to lift their feet higher, and plant in a more gentle manner.
It is all up to the individual. For me, wide, sturdy, high arch-support make the most sense.
Are Vibrams The Answer As The Best Shoes For Running On The Beach?
Some of my friends are starting to use “Vibrams” that were popularized by Mark Sisson in his ground-breaking book, The Primal Blueprint.
I have not tried these, yet, so I really cannot provide you a quality review.
I do know that the guys who bought them really like them after they get used to them. (It takes a couple of weeks because you have to reduce your mileage, and change your gait. This definitely requires some focus.)
Beach Running Shoes Need Extra Care
Sand, salt water, and sweat take a big toll on beach running shoes. I hose my down every couple of days, and dry them out in the late afternoon (after the hottest direct sunlight.)
I’m sure this makes the editors at Runners World cringe, but it works for me, and my beach running shoes last a couple of years.
I also wash them in the washing machine every other month. This seems to help, too.
I hope this short article helped you a little in answering “What are the best shoes for running on the beach?”
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