Tips for Running on the Beach in Destin

Practical Advice for Blissful Beach Runs in Destin

Posted on 4/2/2024

If you love to run, you know that finding a good running route on vacation is a must. Luckily, Destin has the prettiest running routes around. And yes, we are talking about the Emerald Coast’s scenic crystal beaches that we just can’t get enough of. Whether you’re running at sunrise, sunset, or somewhere in between, you’re sure to enjoy a great workout in the best setting. Plus, it hardly feels like exercise when the views are so great!

Though it provides a pretty route, running on soft sand does have its challenges. So, we’ve compiled a list of running tips for your jog on the beach in Destin. Check out these tips before venturing out on your next vacation run.


Ease Into It & Don’t Over Exert Yourself

Running on sand is very different than running on pavement or a smooth trail, so it’s important to ease into it. Due to the soft sand and uneven surface, beach running often requires more energy. It also forces you to use tendons and muscles that you may not normally use. Because of this, it can be easy to overexert yourself or injure those muscles you don’t use as frequently. Instead, slow your pace to a speed where you can soak in everything—the smells, shells, dolphins, and everything in between. This way, you can simply enjoy a beautiful jog in paradise without worrying about fatigue, soreness, or injury.

Beach Running Tip Ease Into It & Don’t Over Exert Yourself

Watch Your Feet

Unlike sidewalks or pavement, the sandy beaches provide an uneven surface for running. Though this is great for working and strengthening different muscles, it can lead to injury if you’re not careful. Watch for dips and holes in the sand. Inadvertently stepping or falling into a hole can lead to a twisted ankle. To avoid this, you may want to try running on the harder-packed sand closer to the water’s edge. While this minimizes the number of holes you will encounter, the wet ground typically has a bit of a slope—which leads us to our next tip!


Switch Directions on a Slope

When you run closer to the water, the hardpacked sand presents a sloped surface that will affect your muscles, tendons, and stride. As you run, you put greater stress on the leg and foot that is closer to the water. For this reason, you don’t want to run in only one direction. So, when you’re running on a slope, be sure to switch directions. Whether that’s an out-and-back long run or short spurts back and forth, this will help ease the strain you are putting on either side of your body.


Beach Running Tip Avoid the Hottest Part of the Day

Avoid the Hottest Part of the Day

Vacationers often visit Destin for the warm, sunny days—which are perfect for when you’re lounging on the beach and splashing in the water. However, running in high heat can be difficult on the body. Avoid the hottest parts of the day to prevent heat exhaustion and overexertion. For barefoot runners, the hot sand in the middle of the day can be mighty uncomfortable on your feet, as well! Instead, try running in the morning or evening. Not only does this lessen the chance of heat exhaustion and cooked feet, but it also makes for amazing beach sunrise and sunset views during your run! Then, you can focus on spending the hottest parts of the day playing at the beach and relaxing with your family and friends.


Wear Sun Protection

Even if you run in the cooler temps of the morning or evening, the beach is still typically warm and sunny. There is also very little shade. For this reason, it is important to protect your skin when running on the beach. This could include sunscreen, an SPF/UPF shirt, and hat to protect yourself from the ultraviolet rays. You should also bring a pair of shades. If the sun is out, Destin’s picture-perfect snowy sands can be blinding.


Stay Hydrated

Hydration is crucial no matter where or how long you’re running. But the warmer temperatures at the beach mean it’s especially essential to hydrate when jogging in Destin. Drink water before, during, and after your run. We suggest bringing your own water on your beach run, whether it’s a hand-grip water bottle or a running belt or vest.


More Adventures by the Beach:

30A Bike Trail

Winding gracefully along this scenic route, the Timpoochee Trail invites explorers for anything from a leisurely 2-hour bike tour to a full day's adventure, offering an array of experiences from luxurious stays to primitive camping spots, all against a backdrop of breathtaking natural vistas.

30A Bike Trail

Just Go & Have Fun!

The best tip we have for you is to just go! Even if you don’t feel like it, running along the Emerald Coast never fails to give back in ways you can’t anticipate. You will get a great workout, all while taking in the amazing sights and smells of the coast. Have a blast, and simply rinse and repeat.


Ocean Reef Destin Guests

For those who love to run, running at the beach is a great activity to enjoy while on a Destin vacation. Most of our Gulf Coast vacation rentals are right on or within walking distance to the beach, meaning embarking on a run on those gorgeous glittery sands could not be easier! Browse our selection of Destin vacation rentals online to start planning your next getaway here in paradise.

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