running in florida: dressing through the seasons

Learning how to dress for the running seasons is one of many “skills” that comes with time and experience. Everyone is so different as far as what makes them comfortable in the varying temperatures, but it’s always important to be protected and safe.

Spring. In Florida.

Ah, spring. Birds sing. Flowers bloom. And humidity spreads its swampy self over the Sunshine State. It’s a great time of year, don’t get me wrong. But the mornings start warm and heat up fast after that. While other places in the country get to ease into the hottest month of a year, we kind of just get in there and get going.

For the spring months, in Florida, we crack out those tank tops and shorts. I know plenty of people go for t-shirts, but I always feel hotter and more restricted with fabric under my arms.

Sunscreen and hats or visors are always a great idea. I tend to skip hats because usually lead to me feel more overheated, but I never leave the house without my sunglasses.

Summer. In Florida.

The truth is, it almost always feels like summer in Florida. It’s soggy and hot and the sun can be merciless. Outdoor running slows to a slog, with many opting for the indoor treadmill, but I stick it out. We do race all summer (in “normal” times, at lesser distances) so I prefer to replicate those conditions where I can.

At this time of year, I’m back in (drumroll) a tank top and shorts or running skirt. Lighter colors are preferable as they don’t absorb as much heat. Stick to moisture wicking and dry-fit materials. This is even a great time to just go with a sports bra (or shirtless for men), but again, don’t forget that sunscreen!

Fall. In Florida.

Whether it feels like it or not, fall descends upon Florida, and all you can do is order your PSL on ice and sip it at the beach. There are no glorious “cool” temps here, no brilliant foliage the colors of flame, no actual need for blanket scarves or Uggs.

Mornings can be a bit more pleasant, however. Sometimes, the thermometer may dip into the 60s, with or without humidity, and that’s a nice break, but it’s not cold, and it’s barely a reason to break out the t-shirts.

So what does one wear for running in the Florida autumn? Tank tops and shorts? Friends, you would be correct. Even on a 63 degree day, you’ll warm up quickly, so no point in overdressing.

Hurricane season also brings lots of rain, so be sure to grab your anti-chafing products and try to stick with the clothing items that don’t rub or irritate.

Winter. In Florida.

Ok. Once we hit winter, things do cool down. I mean, there are mornings where we may just see some 50-something-degree mornings. (That being said, I have also spent several December days at the unheated pool so…) It’s a great time to start early morning runs with a long sleeve shirt over a tank top. I always add gloves because of my Rayanud’s. The gloves generally stay on, but the long sleeves generally come off around the one mile mark.

My legs usually don’t get cold until we get into the 40s, so I stick with shorts up until that point. Capris are a favorite, too, this time of year, although I prefer to save them for yoga or strength training. You may have figured out there’s not a lot of variety in a Floridian’s running wardrobe.

That Random Week In February Where It Could Possibly Snow.

And here it comes. There is always one week of the year, usually in February, where temperatures plummet. I’m talking deep freezes, friends. It’s crazy and while I’ve never run in snow in the Sunshine State, I’ve experienced low 20s at the start of some runs. This is the time of year when we can absolutely whip out all the accessories: leggings, half zips, ear warmers, and gloves!

It’s hard to imagine, but I layer up with tank tops and fleece for this one random week. There are days when it’s just hard to get warm, even after a shower, so the more I can bundle up, the better!

How do you dress through the seasons when running in your neck of the woods? Do you have as little variety as me?

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22 Responses to running in florida: dressing through the seasons

  1. A few years ago I went to Florida in January and it was really chilly! We went to Disney and I didn’t pack warm enough clothes and was freezing the first 2 days. Here we get a huge range of temperatures. i have tons of different kinds of running clothes because you just never know what you’re gonna get.

    • runswithpugs says:

      It does get cold here! People are always surprised when I say we put on our heat, and I have used the heated seats in my car quite frequently.

      But at the end of the day, the cold is so short lived.

  2. It’s always such a treat when I can “just” wear a tank top and shorts. I won’t run outside in ice or if it’s below 30, so my winter running wardrobe is pretty sparse. It’s also pretty rare for me to wear short sleeves. I feel like if it’s too cold for a tank then that means long sleeves.
    Beckett @ Birchwood Pie recently posted…Weekly Eats: Spaghetti for FourMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I try to avoid ice, but sometimes the puddles freeze or people don’t turn off their sprinklers and that ices up. Ugh.

      I just don’t love t-shirts for working out. They make me feel so sweaty. Boo.

  3. Having lived in TX so long, i get it. Although we did definitely get the odd cold weather — the nice part was it never lasted long.

    We definitely have all 4 seasons up here. So there’s skirts, there’s capris, there’s tights, and then there’s the fleece lined tights . . . and yes, on cold days, even after a shower, it can take me forever to warm up. I find wearing wool helps with that!

    • runswithpugs says:

      I think I have one pair of fleece-lined tights. I bought them for a ski trip and they were fabulous. I haven’t needed them since.

      I wish we had a better variety of seasons, but it’s nice to not have to worry much about snow and all the complications that come with it.

  4. Wendy says:

    What a fun idea for a post! I’d love to run in a tank and shorts 3/4 of the year! I have quite a bit of running gear because, Chicago. I love my late winter trips to Florida when I can slip into a tank and shorts….ahhhh. Don’t know if we’ll get there next March. Fingers crossed.

    • runswithpugs says:

      Isn’t it funny! I went out for a walk this morning in shorts and a tank, and my neighbor commented on whether I was cold. It was chilly but warmed up fast.

      I do have my fingers crossed that you can get here.

  5. Catrina says:

    You deserve a medal for running through the Florida summer.
    We used to spend November to January in Florida (Naples) and for us, it always felt like summer.
    Although it got quite chilly, we would stick to shorts and t-shirts. I guess we weren’t as acclimatized as you are!
    Love your outfits, by the way!
    Catrina recently posted…Why I Love to Train in the RainMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      It’s just what we get used to! And it’s why I go out so early – at least in the early morning dark, it’s not AS bad as in the noon sun. But it would be nice to go for a run in the mid morning and not feel like we are going to spontaneously combust.

      Whenever I run up north, I do bundle up a bit more than the locals do.

  6. You make me want to move. I would love to run in a skirt and tank ALL year or most of it.

    I dress in the morning and stay that way. Which means I’m either over or under dressed at some point in the day…the trials of working from home.

  7. Laura says:

    I applaud you for running through Florida summers! Here in the Great Lakes region we have a huge range of weather…everything from 0 degrees Fahrenheit, snowy, and windy to hot and humid. Sometimes we even get huge swings in a week and I’ll go from wearing long sleeves and leggings to shorts.

    • runswithpugs says:

      It’s funny when we go to other states or even cities and they have heat advisories for races and running, because usually, it’s just a normal day for us.There is only one time I raced when it felt unsafe and that was at an early evening beach 4 miler in August a few years ago. It was brutal out, and several people passed out and needed medical attention. I ended up walking through quite a bit – it wasn’t worth getting hurt.

  8. Florida’s weather can be tricky in the winter time! We have been there when it’s so cold in December and other times it’s brutally hot. Makes for a challenging running wardrobe!

  9. Shathiso says:

    Haha! This sounds like Botswana weather. Only we don’t get hurricanes or that one week of snow! LOL. So you’d easily survive here too.

  10. Your running wardrobe probably takes up much less real estate than mine does. I layer my tanks under the warmer stuff (sometimes) in the cooler seasons, but I also have short-sleeved tops, long-sleeves (some are fleece-lined). I also have shorts, capris and full leggings (some of those are fleece-lined as well). I haven’t even touched on my collection of puffer vests, stocking hats and gloves LOL I’m envious of your weather!!!

    • Jenn says:

      Oh, don’t get me wrong. I have a lot of running and yoga clothes lol. I am also between sizes right, so I am buying smaller stuff but not quite ready to throw out the bigger.

      Puffer vests have no place in my closet LOL!

  11. Being in Chicago, we experience just about every type of weather, pretty much any time of the year! I did the Dopey Challenge in January, and Day 4 – Marathon Day – was the hottest January 12th in the past 10 years. It figures!

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