If you are visiting the Daytona Beach area and you are a jogger or runner, you may want to plan to get a run on the beach during your stay. Many people run the beaches of Daytona Beach. It's a great way to get a good cardio workout and enjoy the beautiful scenery at the same time. We have 47 miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, giving you plenty of beach to choose a spot for your run.
Running on the beach isn't exactly the same as running on a cement or hard surface. Running on the sand on the beach will change things up slightly, but mostly for the better. The sand provides a softer surface to run, thus reducing the impact some, but some people may find it a little harder to run on if they are in softer sand. Here are a few tips for running on the beaches of Daytona Beach, from an avid runner who has done it plenty of times:
- Footwear. This ranges from wearing the running shoes you are used to wearing, to running barefoot. You don't have to have any specific type of running shoe to run on the beach. If you are going to wear a shoe, make sure it's a good running shoe (as always), but many people do opt for trying a barefoot run. If you have ever wanted to try a barefoot run, this is great time to give it a try.
- Being prepared. If you are running during the middle part of the day you may find it's quite sunny. Be prepared by either having sunscreen on and/or wearing a hat. Also, be sure to bring sunglasses, because the glare coming off of the water may make it even more uncomfortable with out them. You will also want to bring some water or something to drink.
- Timing. Consider the time of day you are going to take your beach run. The morning and evening are ideal because the temperature and sun will not be as harsh, and there won't be as much traffic on the beach during those times. It's also important to note that if you are visiting Daytona Beach during the summer months there is usually a short tropical-like thunderstorm that rolls through almost every afternoon. It doesn't last long, maybe a half an hour or so, but you don't want to get caught in that while running. The typical time for this is around 2-3 pm, give or take.
- Cars. There are areas in Daytona Beach where cars can drive on the beach and there are are area closed off to vehicles. You can run in either, but if you are running where cars drive be sure to pay attention to the drive lanes and stay out of them while you are running. The area up near the dunes has softer sand, which will be more difficult to run on (requiring more energy). Try to find a spot closer to the water out of the traffic zone that has sand that is harder packed. It will provide a good running surface.
- Drag. Usually there is one direction that is going to give you a stronger wind that is coming off the ocean. Consider that when choosing which direction you want to start out in. Do you want the wind pushing you on the way there or on the way back? Plan accordingly.
- Tide. You will want to consider the tide when choosing when to do your beach run. In Daytona Beach there are two high tides and two low tides per day. A high tide will give you less beach to run on. At times there is very little beach and it's even closed to cars. A low tide time provides a lot of open space for running and everything else going on there. You can get high and low tide times here.
When you finish a beach run you can also take off your shoes (if you were wearing any) and walk in the water to cool off. It provides a quick cool-down that is refreshing. Running on the beaches in Daytona Beach provides a great run. Whether you do it once while on your vacation or you get in a few runs, it is a great way to get your cardio in and enjoy the view at the same time.
If you have interest in doing a race while you are visiting you are in luck. There are numerous 5K beach runs throughout the year. Do a google search for 5K's taking place along the beaches of New Smyrna Beach, Daytona Beach, and Ormond Beach.