Playas de Jandía
After raving about the idyllic qualities of the Canary Islands for naked running in my blog posts Fuerteventura Beach, Fuerteventura Dunes and Gran Canaria (all September 2015), it was completely natural that I return to the temperate volcanic islands of the Atlantic.
The climate there – I still maintain – is nearly ideal for naked running: year-round daytime highs in the 20c – 30c range, low humidity, warm-ish water, blue skies… perfect!
Well, that was the belief and the intention!
Mother nature, however, had other plans.
My second naked running visit to the Canaries coincided exactly with an unusual, intense, cold and rainy winter storm. The opposite of ideal naked running conditions for me!
The first day of the short 3-day visit saw all-day downpours, perpetual dark clouds, frigid temperatures peaking at 12c and wind gusts of up to 50k per hour. No naked running that day!
On the second day, just after sunrise – the rain halted temporarily, but with a stiff breeze and cool air of 12c – I tempted my fate and did a short run. The hamlet where I was staying with a friend was only 100m from Playas de Jandía, billed as the longest continuous beach in the world. A stunning beach most popular with wind surfers due to the constant presence of strong wind and relatively flat sea.
I was at my limits of my comfort zone. Well below the average for the season, at 12c the cold air – always labelled as invigorating – froze my digits to the point of a shattering fragility. My toes were bleached white. Nevertheless, there was no denying the glorious feeling of running stark naked in bright sunshine along the slightly lapping waves of the stunning beach. I had travelled all of the way to the Canary Islands and patiently sat through two days of downpours for the coldest run of my naked running career. Am I mad?
The experience was glorious, but I was frozen to my core. When does running in the Canaries not work as intended? When the winter storm not only freezes the body to its limits but when the solar water heating in the self-catering holiday accommodation cannot produce hot water as there is simply no hot sun to step up to the job. Catastrophe: cold body and cold water… Are the Canary Islands really up to the job as a year-round naked running site? I’m no longer convinced.
At sunrise of the third and final day, with the winter storm receding, the temperature was rocketing, unlike the two previous days, I set out on my proper long naked run. The sun was bright and warming. The air temperature was not yet at the level of mercury it would reach later that day (20c), but it was gloriously sunny and – relative to the preceding two days – calm.
This run got me past my 3km point of warming up. It got past the heavy breathing. It got to the point of pleasure. And yes, it brought me to the orgasm of the psyche when I could feel the fire in my belly burning. Suddenly the two day wait in the pouring rain, the lack of hot water, the freezing body were distant memories and all I could feel was the joy of the experience. The sun and the air on my skin. The soles of my feet landing rhythmically in the soft, damp sand. My heart and lungs pumping away, without fatigue or exhaustion. My spine extending ever skywards. But most of all was that explosion of energy in my Dantian. I concentrated for many minutes solely on that sensation. How can I harness it? How can I find it in everyday life? How can I experience the benefits of running naked at all times? The first challenge I set myself was to see if I can recreate that Dantian sensation when I next run with my clothes on. It has never happened, but I’m wondering if I can provoke it through concentration?
While the beach was deserted, I wasn’t alone: the local gulls were doing their own exercises: flying to the end of the beach, turning around and then buzzing past me just over my head. They did this three or four times; we were all enjoying ourselves!
So, I kept going. Who knows how far I might have gone if I hadn’t done an out & back loop from my accommodation. They only hesitation was that my calf muscles were aching in soreness due to struggling with the soft, wet sand. I really feel that I was on a roll that morning. When I checked my results, I had achieved 7k, which given it was my first run in five days was excellent. I felt great!
With the temperature rising to the low 20s, if it weren’t for the flight leaving in a few hours I certainly would have tried another run that evening. That is: if my calves would have permitted it!
I left Fuerteventura disappointed that I did not achieve the naked running frequency I had the previous summer, but completely thrilled with the experience from the final run on the morning of my departure. Oh, how I wish I could do this every day of my life!
Naked Run Facts
Date: 19 – 20 February 2016 (two individual runs)
Location: Playas de Jandía, Risco el Paso, Costa Calma, Pájara, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain
Time of Day: 09:00 & 08:30
Air Temperature: 12c & 16c
Conditions: partly cloudy and windy
Run Length: 2k & 7k
Duration (h:mm): 0:10 & 0:37
Average Pace (m:ss): 5:19/km
Average Heart Rate: 138bpm
Barefoot or Shoes: both barefoot
Other Nearby Naked Running Sites
Any stretch of Playas de Jandía is ideal
For a more secluded and rougher experience, try the beach at Cofete (4×4 required)
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