How Many Calories Do You Burn Running On The Beach?

how many calories do you burn running on the beach

Running on the beach is great for fitness as most people know. And the cool breeze and the sun overhead makes for an exhilarating experience. But it is tougher than you think and burns considerably more calories because of the resistance of the sand, especially in the soft sand of the dunes.

But, how many calories are you actually burning when running on the sand? About 60% more than most flat surfaces. This comes out to on average, 720 calories running at 3 mph for a one hour jog. The same distance and pace net you about 450 calories on most flat surfaces.

What Is The Breakdown For Calorie Burn Running On the Beach?

All the calculations included here do not take into account age, weight, stride length, or conditioning. These burn rates were determined by the UnderArmor Record application.

The sand running calorie burn rate was assumes running on soft sand dunes away from the seashore line. You can reduce the percentage of the caloric burn rate for running on packed sand.

30 Min Beach Run Calories Burned
DistanceSpeedCalories Burned -
Flat Surface
Calories Burned -
Loose Sand
1 mile2 mph180288
1.5 miles3 mph225360
2 miles4 mph322515
3 miles6 mph6311,009
4 miles8 mph7601,216
5 miles10 mph7081,132
60 Min Beach Run Calories Burned
DistanceSpeedCalories Burned -
Flat Surface
Calories Burned -
Loose Sand
2 miles2 mph361577
3 miles3 mph450720
4 miles4 mph6441,030
5 miles5 mph10691,710
6 miles6 mph12622,019
7 miles7 mph14162,265
8 miles8 mph15192,430
90 Min Beach Run Calories Burned
DistanceSpeedCalories Burned -
Flat Surface
Calories Burned -
Loose Sand
3 miles2 mph541865
4 miles2.7 mph612979
5 miles3.3 mph7791,246
6 miles4 mph9661,545
7 miles4.7 mph1,4362,297
8 miles5.3 mph1,7642,822
9 miles6 mph1,8933,028
10 miles6.7 mph2,0223,235

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Why Run On The Beach?

Improves Your Running Technique

Running on the beach creates new stresses on your hips, legs, and feet you don’t get from firmer surfaces.

Firstly, on soft sand, it requires pushing off with a stiffer foot rear foot. Your natural inclination is to push yourself forward with the front foot. But driving forward in soft and loose sand works better if you push firmly from the back foot. This prevents some of the slipping you experience on sand.

Additionally, on firmer, packed sand you find along the seashore, you will do better by adopting mid-foot landing when using shoes for the sand.

Lastly, for barefoot running, you will need to develop running on the balls of your feet. This will reduce the strain on your hips and Achilles heel while developing strength in your calves and stiffen your feet.

Excellent Cardio Fitness Training Program

You can experience quicker results in cardiovascular fitness and strength. The natural resistance of the sand provides a jump to your peak heart rate. This will add to your success and confidence.

Increases Running Strength, Stability, and Stamina

You will find running on the sand to be somewhat awkward and unstable at times. Depending on how deep the loose sand is, it will be noticeably hard to maintain your balance. You will find your hips and legs straining due to stress you don’t find on flat surfaces.

You will get tired more quickly and may notice strain and cramping on the bottom of your feet.

But, don’t worry, this is natural to starting beach running. And it will give you great benefits if you stick with it.

Beach Running Training And Technique

Many runners have been training on hard surfaces, many with years of experience, who jump into running on the beach and try to follow the same principles.  It really is not the same thing at all and could be a big injury risk.  With some training adjustments and preparations, most runners can easily make the transition and reap the benefits of this exercise.

If your fitness plan includes core and leg strength training, then training in the sand is a great option for you. But, there are several things to consider before you begin running down the beach.

Check out this video for advice on how to run fast through the sand, as well as some pointers on how to use the surface in your training.

Evaluate Your Current Conditioning

You know your body and it’s limitations, but for starting a new fitness routine, you need a fresh and honest assessment.

Start by:
1. Checking with your personal physician before starting any fitness program. Ask for a physical and stress test if you are over the age of 40.

2. Limiting your routine to 2-3 days for the first 2 weeks if you are just starting or renewing a fitness program. This will allow your body to adjust to the rigors of training on the sand and reducing the chances of injury. Check for soreness and fatigue.

3. Remember to stretch your hips, legs, and especially your feet. Your calves and Achilles heel tendons are the most at risk and will need to be part of your conditioning plan.

4. Keep tabs on your heart rate by using a watch or heart rate monitor. My favorite is the Fitbit Versa which I have been using for a few years. I love all the features and friend challenges!

 

Decide If You Want To Run Barefoot On The Beach

Running barefoot provides many benefits to the lower body by making your legs work harder and get tired more quickly. This is because running with shoes provides stiff support and your feet don’t need to work so hard.

There are legitimate health concerns for running the beach barefoot. But by following the proper precautions you can prevent injury. This is discussed in great detail in the article “Is it healthy to run barefoot on the beach?“.

In this article, we discuss wearing minimal or toe shoes to reduce the strain of running barefoot. We introduce stretches that will reduce injury. We also provide a few tips for making running more beneficial.

Conclusion

We covered:

  • Running on sand burns about 60% more calories than flat surfaces.
  • This comes out to on average, 720 calories running at 3 mph for a one hour jog. The same distance and pace net you about 450 calories on most flat surfaces
  • We provided sets of calorie burn charts that break down 30-minute, 60-minute, and 90-minute runs
  • We provide several reasons why running on the beach is beneficial
  • We discuss how to evaluate your current condition
  • You are introduced to a video on beach running training and technique
  • You can review an article on barefoot running on the beach in a provided link

Tracy Villarreal

I'm the owner of Active At The Beach. I grew up in a beach town in which I was fortunate enough to spend tons of time around the sea and the beach.

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