How to thoroughly enjoy beach running in Hawaii

Are you a runner? Or maybe you’d like to start running? Either way, you might want to give beach running in Hawaii a try.

Yes — it’s still running — but unlike pounding the pavement in shoes, beach running is a profoundly different experience. Here’s how:

Prepare to be totally invigorated

In Hawaii, beach running is like road running squared (“road running²” lol), meaning it’s a totally different workout that works totally different muscles. It’s usually a lot more challenging.

Unlike road running, where the surface is solid and you don’t think much about each step you take, running on sand offers a much softer and “mushier” surface, which forces you to work harder with each step.

You feel the burn in muscles you didn’t even know existed, and it feels great!

Not all sand is the same

As you go from the ocean’s edge toward land (away from the water), the sand tends to be softer and mushier. Conversely, as you get closer to the water, the sand gets harder and thus easier to run on (i.e., you go faster).

Of course it’s entirely up to you where on the beach you run, but it’s nice having the option to add variation between speed (hard sand) and strength (soft sand).

Do it alone

This tip may seem a little odd, but I swear by it. Running on a beach in Hawaii alone — and better yet if you have the beach all to yourself — is one of the best ways to gift yourself alone time.

When you run by yourself, you can tune in deeply to the rhythm of the ocean, feel the cool tradewinds on your face, hear the waves crashing and observe the crabs, birds, plant life, colors, smells, energies, etc.

Beach running solo is a true moving meditation!

Go barefoot

Doing anything barefoot in Hawaii is kind of a no-brainer, but we especially recommend you remove any and all footwear when you’re on the beach — and that includes while running.

This seems obvious, but believe it or not we’ve seen people run the beach in Hawaii while wearing shoes. Huh?

Running barefoot on the sand has some serious benefits:

  • It airs your feet out
  • You get to connect directly with nature and feel the earth under your the soles of your feet
  • Sand and salt water are excellent exfoliators!

Be aware of…

Despite the benefits of beach running, there are a few hazards that require you to be alert, including:

  • Sun and heat: Unless you’re into intentional suffering, do your beach runs in the morning or late afternoon when the sun won’t melt you. And always wear sunblock.
  • High surf: if the waves are up or rising, keep a very healthy distance from the shore
  • Too much clothing: you don’t need to wear any more than your swim trunks or bikini
  • Jellyfish: sometimes the wind and surf will wash up many small blue jellyfish called “Portuguese Man-o-War” onto the beach. Don’t step on them or their long stingers, it hurts!
  • Glass: sadly, some people litter their bottles on the beach and sometimes those bottles break.
  • Burning firewood embers: leftover bonfires aren’t always extinguished, so best to stay away from black, ash-covered sand
  • Holes and rocks: self-explanatory
  • “Private Property”: Keep in mind that all of Hawaii’s shoreline are accessible by the public, so don’t let anyone tell you that you’re “tresspassing” on their property…it’s not true!

Need a hand with your next Maui vacation? Please contact the Sunny Maui Vacations team at or call 808-240-1311, ext. 21. We’ll find you the best vacation rental condo or home in South Maui and help you with any and all recommendations and activities across Maui (chat with our in-house Concierge at extension 71).


Image credits: Salvador Martin Yeste, dominic4nitsirk128512958@N02

check-in check-out
close reservations form