The Critz Tybee Run Fest 2012 is right around the corner, and while many runners will be locals, visiting runners from far away will be taking advantage of all that Tybee Island has to offer. So we've whipped up some tips so you can take full advantage of your Tybee Beach Run!
1. Don't Wear Shoes You Like - Just like New Orleans on Mardi Gras, this is also great advice for beach runs. Try to wear shoes with a smaller mesh to prevent sand in your shoes, but let's face it, it's going to happen. And as far as getting all that sand back out of the shoes, well let's just say those are your designated beach runners from now on.
2. The Tides - Low tide creates hard packed sand, but it's still better than running on hard pavement. For those running the 5k on Friday night, the tide will just be ebbing low, but don't worry, that course has no beach route, an advantage shared by all runs except the 2.8 mile Beach Run. You can also expect low tide for the noon start of the Beach Run.
3. Plenty of Fluids - As with any run you need to make sure to replenish precious fluids. But remember running in hard packed sand can be a lot more grueling than your everyday run. Make sure to account for this.
4. Your Knees! - Tides create the gentle slope of the beach, a joy to all those who visit to bask in the sun. Not so for runners, as this can create an uneven running surface, which can wreak havoc on the knees and hips. The higher the high tide, the more extreme you can expect the slope of the beach to be. Running in a zig zag pattern, creating small "uphill" and "downhill" runs, helps to even-out every joint's stress.
5.Gear Up - Don't forget the sunblock, and opt for a waterproof or sport one, as these will resist sweat. Sunglasses and a hat are also a great choice, just because you're running, it doesn't make the beach any less bright. Finally, consider a lubricant like BobyGlide or SportSlick (you can pick these up at Fleet Feet) for your feet and legs, to help prevent sand chaffing.
6. Swim! - You've just finished the race, so why not take full advantage of where you are and go for a quick dip to cool off. Enjoy the chop, but remember that lifeguard season runs from roughly the beginning of May through the end of September, so choose a swimming buddy, that way you won't be out there on your own!
7.Wind! - Make sure to take in to account the wind on the beach. It can really whip sometimes, so be ready for it to add yet another difficulty factor to you run.
8. Use Dynamic Stretches Before/Static Stretches After the Race - Dynamic stretches increase your range of motion so get your High Knees, Butt Kicks and Low Lunges in before the race. Static Stretches will help you with cool down. Groin Stretches, Calf Stretches and Hamstring Stretches work great for this.
9. Rest Before the Race - Get some rest at one of Tybee's picturesque beachfront hotels, or chill out with a group of runners at a cottage of your own from Mermaid cottages.
10. Have a Carbohydrate Heavy Meal the Night Before the Race - Visiting runners be sure to try all the tastes of Tybee like The Sundae Cafe, North Beach Grill, or Lighthouse Pizza. For those adventurous enough to carb load the morning of, make sure to hit up The Breakfast Club.
Atlantic Foot and Ankle Specialists will have a large group running, so make sure to look for our employees in their " I LOVE MY FEET" tees! We'll see you at the Tybee Beach Run!