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My favorite place to run is the hard and moist sand where the ocean meets the beach. A friend of mine said I should avoid running at the beach, since the running-surface is slightly slanted, which can lead to injuries. This person said trail running is ok, because the the slant does not have a constant directionality. I was wondering if anyone has any credible sources that confirm either or both of these claims, and if so, how long I can go in one direction without causing injury?

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Sustained slanted impact affects mostly your peroneal tendon. Assuming you're cross training sufficiently to compensate, it should be okay... but it's probably a good idea to ask this question in the sports stackexchange. –  Nisan.H Sep 14 '13 at 3:39
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up vote 9 down vote accepted

If you always run for a long distance along the beach in one direction, and the beach has quite a steep slope, then you could end up with problems.

But generally you would be much more likely to run along the beach and then return, so you get both directions of slope.

So I wouldn't worry. Sand running has so many other benefits:

  • it uses up to 50% more energy
  • causes less impact to joints
  • you build more power at your running speed
  • your stabilising muscles work harder, which can help prevent injuries such from going over on your ankle
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