Coastal / rock running
Coastal running throws in a variety of terrain and surfaces for participants to navigate. At some events you will have soft and hard sand, sharp rocks, concrete paths, stream crossings and slippery rock surfaces. All these things can change even more when you suddenly throw in high tide or rain, making this for one of the most exciting and challenging types of events.
So with the varied terrain the technique that you need use is slightly different to just ‘good old running down the beach’. It is much more important to watch where you are running and learn to concentrate on the now and what’s coming at you. Judging the best foot placement over some terrains will be important to help set you up for your next step forward. To start with a hiking type of action over rocks may be safer and more effective than running but as your experience grows your eyes will see, the brain will process and the body will react without as much concentration.
Passing, Position & Communication
More competent all terrain runners may have to consider their start position and their entry into more technical terrain so that they can maintain their speed over these areas. So you may need to speed up as you enter areas that you are more confident in or be mindful of participants behind you if you are less confident, especially around areas with limited space and opportunity to overtake. Communicate to other participants if you are going to pass them or if you think they want to pass you. It also can be helpful to highlight obstacles coming up to other participants so everyone is aware of why you are slowing down or to provide direction on how to avoid it. Remember also to highlight to other participants behind you if you have people coming towards you.
With less predictable terrain it is worth considering the type of shoe that you are using. Most trail running shoes are designed to address two of a trail runners’ feet protection needs: a more substantial buffer between the foot and the ground, and outsoles (the bottom outermost part of the shoe), which are equipped with deeper lugs or tread patterns for grip and avoid slipping. There are a number of options available so see local retailers for the best solutions. It may also be worth considering a pair of finger less cycle ‘type’ gloves for protection of your hands should you fall over.
If you've got plenty of time prior to the start of an event– grab some friends and practice the track that you will run across. You may want to practice some of the more technical parts several times and try some different routes on these areas as you can’t always guarantee the best path each time.