Fall Running in Florida

As we emerge from the cloak of heat and rain that is the Florida summer, the situation brightens for us runners.  Cooler, less humid air invites the runner to get back out there and run.  Those of us who ran through the summer can now run longer and faster more easily, with proper training of course.   Want to be able to run another time of day besides 6 am? Fall helps us with this too!

As cooler weather approaches, here are 5 tips for making the most of your fall running in Florida.

  1. Check Your Shoes

A general rule of thumb is to replace shoes every 500 miles, although research indicates this is very individualized.  A better guide is how they feel and do the soles look worn?  If your gut says you feel less supported by your shoes, it’s likely time to get a new pair.  And best to do this before you start increasing miles due to the inviting cooler running conditions. If you’re in Tampa Bay, check out https://stpeterunningco.com/ or find your local running store.

  1. Think Bright and Reflective

Shorter days and daylight savings increases the likelihood we might run in the dark.  Be sure to have bright clothing and pick up a reflective vest.  They’re inexpensive and can make a real difference for drivers to spot you from far enough away.  Another smart purchase is the blinking light that clips to your shirt.  Consider it cheap life insurance! Check out https://www.nathansports.com/ for a variety of vest and light options.

  1. Warm Up Even More Than Before

So you already warm up?  No? You better!  But it’s even more important in cooler weather.  Cold muscles are more likely to limit performance or, at worse, strain when asked to work without warm-up. For best outcomes, spend 5-8 minutes developing a small film of sweat on the skin before you begin running

  1. Pick a Race Goal

There’s a good reason why runners from all over the country come to Florida to do races during the winter.  Because of our weather! So take full advantage of the local races by committing one now.  This will help you stay focused on the goal and keep you running throughout our “running season.”  Check www.floridaroadraces.com for an excellent series of races in St. Petersburg/Clearwater area.

  1. Dress Up

Dress for 15-20 degrees warmer than the current temperature.  You’re dressed correctly if you are initially cold.  You find you’re dressed perfectly as your body temperature warms up. Find outstanding running clothing that keeps you warm while releasing body heat, sweat, and stink at www.lululemon.com.


Eric Schweitzer, DPT, OCS, MTC

Eric Schweitzer is a Board Certified Doctor of Physical Therapy, author, professor, runner and triathlete.  He recently sold his successful physical therapy practice, Premier Physical Therapy, located in Clearwater, FL, which is still operating under Hayes Estes, and is still just as amazing!

Dr. Schweitzer was a professor at USF, has lectured at several national academic conferences, including the 2017 University of Florida Running Medicine Conference and has written several textbook chapters on physical therapy related topics.  He is currently traveling the world spreading love, kindness, and knowledge on PT!

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