Where Do You Run? (take my poll)

I have a theory that real wood boardwalks are better for running than recycled plastic wood. I feel like they are "springier" but it could be my imagination.

I have a theory that real wood boardwalks are better for running than recycled plastic wood. I feel like they are “spring-ier” but it could be my imagination.

So yesterday I went for my run at the beach, which is one of my favorite things to do. I love, love, love running on boardwalk. I feel it has more give than other surfaces. Plus, you’re at the beach. What I don’t like is running on sand. I have bad ankles and find even walking on sand can cause more stress.

There are several great beaches near where I live, with wonderful boardwalks for running. (I mean I guess some people walk on them, but that seems kind of silly when they are obviously for running). One of the boardwalks is two full miles, which makes a nice four mile round trip. Another one requires a ferry or boat ride to get to. The one I went to yesterday is probably the prettiest, but it is just over a mile, which means you have to go back and forth a few times to get a decent run in. And it isn’t a circle, just a straight line out. At the end is a sand road which leads to some of the small Fire Island towns.

I’ve been told time and time again that I should run the sand road, but it is soft sand which is really hard for me. I never really have gone past the end of the boardwalk. I just turn around and go back. But the past few days we had some crazy, record-breaking rain and the interesting result was that the usually soft sand was super hard-packed.

Can you see the sand road on the right. Follow the boardwalk to the end, then turn right through the parking lot and you will see the road. This pic was taken from the top of the lighthouse a while back.

Can you see the sand road on the right. Follow the boardwalk to the end, then turn right through the parking lot and you will see the road. This pic was taken from the top of the lighthouse a while back.

I’m not even sure why I tried it, but I did. When I ran onto the road I really only expected to get a few feet before I had to turn back. (I’ve done this a few times and I always turn back quickly) Instead, the road was actually doable. Sure, it was a little softer than what I was used to, but if I stayed in the tire tracks I could just handle it without too much stress on my ankle.

I’m not sure exactly how far the sandy part was, but I expected to find boardwalk when I got to the first of the towns. Instead I found a concrete path. For the next mile or so I found that the trail from town to town was interspersed with stretches of sand, concrete, and boardwalk. It sure made for an interesting run and happily my time wasn’t too bad (at least for the first 3 miles).

All in all I ran about 4 miles and walked a mile. It was wonderful. I can’t wait to do it again.

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4 thoughts on “Where Do You Run? (take my poll)

  1. I think that running in sand is the worst thing you can do. It throws off your stride and timing. There’s no energy rebound as on a harder surface. Grass is the best place to run. It strengthens your ankles and you have to pay attention for gopher holes and the like. Sand – no way.

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