The most wonderful time of the year to run is very different, depending on who you ask. In most places, there are four distinct seasons, each with their own “charms.” However, things are different in Florida, where the year is broken into one eternal summer, with spring, fall, and winter all crammed into about six weeks. Good times.
So let’s talk about it.
Winter Running. In Florida.
Friends, it does get cold in Florida. Especially in Northern Florida. Honest. This year alone has shown us temperatures in the 20s (warmer in Miami and the Keys, of course), which means actual frost. It’s a humid winter, which means you can still get sweaty AF, but at least the air is breathable. I love getting to wear leggings and long sleeves, and not having to get up before sunrise to beat the murderous heat of the sun. We were lucky to have a long winter this year, and I am going to miss it.
Spring Running. In Florida.
Spring running hits a little different in the Sunshine State. It comes suddenly (Literally one day will average about 45 degrees, and the next will be 70, and BAM. It’s spring). While most places herald spring with the return of the migrating birds and the blooming go beautiful flowers, Florida rings it in with mating alligators, invasive Muscovy ducks, and a healthy dose of neon green pollen dumped over everything. Bring on the Zyrtec! Running is ok. The temperatures and humidity aren’t awful quite yet, but sinus pressure, sneezing, and itchy eyes and noses make it a little less fun.
Summer Running. In Florida.
The road is lava. Literally. Summer running in Florida is a Herculean effort of will. Most runners choose to log their miles in the dark, either morning or night, just to get away from the scorching sun. No amount of hydration can prepare you for temperatures in the 90s and 99% humidity. Speaking of which, put your speed on hold because breathing summer air in Florida is like trying to breathe through a warm washcloth. Embrace the slow down, and bring on the chafing, the sweating, and the exhaustion, because it’s all up for grabs from April through about January. There’s a reason why we drop to 5Ks and shorter races through the summer and early fall: longer distances are flat-out dangerous, especially for those who aren’t accustomed to the conditions.
Oh, and please note, summer means hurricane season, as well. Sure, we have plenty of time to prepare for these weather events, but huge tropical storm systems throw a wrench in training and also add to the swampy, muggy conditions. We’ve also got love bugs (which will fly into your nose, mouth and eyes without regret), mosquitos the size of small birds, and yellow flies, who will straight up chase you down the street, biting you the whole way. Ah, the adventure.
Fall Running. In Florida.
Get that Pumpkin Spice Latte on ice, and settle in for what I call Summer Part 2. Fall doesn’t bring much relief to Florida running. The leaves don’t change color, nor do things cool down much, if at all. It’s just more of the same, except we get to flaunt wearing a tank and shorts for our December runs. Which is fun, but it would be nice to feel some of the same autumnal bliss as our northern neighbors.
So Which Is My Favorite?
Eh. I’m far better equipped for summer running than anything else, but I’ll say winter, just because it’s so much easier to breathe. Plus, it’s a little something different, which always make it more appealing.
What’s your favorite time of year to run?
I am linking up with Kookyrunner and Zenaida this Tuesday for Tuesday Topics!
Darlene S. Cardillo says
I do enjoy the fact that up North we have all four seasons.
Summer is my favorite. No layers. Lots of flowers.
I also enjoy fall and spring when it’s sunny and not too windy and cold.
And in the winter I always steal away to Florida for a race. We need to plan one together.
We most certainly do!
For all its heat in the summer, I’d rather be in Florida year-round than deal with the icy cold up in the north.
I remember running in Florida (Naples) in August. Wow, the road was lava indeed! If there ever was an incentive to get up before sunrise, it’s Florida summer running!
Catrina recently posted…Recovery Week
That’s why my butt is up and out the door! It’s even worse in Naples than here. I can’t even imagine how it is in Miami in summer for running (I know it’s hot, but I didn’t run when I lived there).
Zenaida Arroyo says
Remind me to not complain as much about our weather. I guess our 4 seasons are more manageable. My sister lives in San Antonio and she would complain about the heat there. Of course I didn’t really believe her till I actually went there in August. Never again will I go there during that time. I’ve been there in December and it is much nicer.
Thank you for linking up with us!
HA! San Antonio is rough, too, for sure. We all have our own weather crosses to bear. The winter wind in Chicago would most likely slice me in half. My body would literally freeze on the spot.
I have family in Florida so I have been there a few times and running in that humidity is brutal! I’m a transplant from New England to California and I love the mild weather we have almost year round. I think we get a little more change of seasons than Florida gets.
I think you do, too. Mild would be nice, for sure!
Ha, I love this! I commend you as running in the summer sounds so rough! You are a rockstar.
And you’re a rockstar for running in the cold like you do! We do what we know!
Haha! We speak the same language on this subject! I’ve been commenting on other blogs that I love winter running because it’s a lot cooler for me (and as you rightly put different from the norm!) But like you, I’m very accustomed to heat running. I’d say the main differences I can spot between Florida and Botswana is that our summers are not as humid. Although it’s technically the rainy season we experience a lot more dry heat days which doesn’t weigh you down as humid days do. Also we don’t get hurricanes, EEEKKK!
We have zero dry heat. I don’t even know what that is, but it sounds lovely. You know it’s bad when sometimes it’s too hot to even bother going in the pool, because the pool is like a bathtub and then it’s just liquid heat. Ugh.
A florida summer would be a deal breaker for me as a runner. Ugh. My fave is fall here. It’s too hot and humid here in summer for my taste, although getting out early and opting for shaded trails helps a ton. This spring has been amazing so far for running, although typically we’re MUCH colder and very rainy. I will take what I can get!
It’s unreal. We have had cooler and more pleasant weather across the board, but I hope that doesn’t mean a more active hurricane season.
The season’s are so different in the south! I wasn’t a runner when I lived in TX, although that’s actually when we bought the treadmill!
Because in addition to the heat & humidity, there was the mosquitoes & fire ants!
Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…I’ve missed you, Spring Running!
Sooooo different. We hole up all summer. Good luck to everyone else out there, but my butt is in the A/C or pool.
Fire ants don’t bother me for running. Noseeums are fantastic though. I’ll have to get a photo of my legs covered in noseeums who ended their lives by smashing into my calves while I was out on my run. Gross.
Janelle @ Run With No Regrets says
The only time I’ve run in Florida is in the wintertime, and I would definitely say that I could work with that! Kudos to you Floridians who have to sweat it out almost year-round!
Our blood is nice and thin down here!