Best Runs in Tampa Bay Area (and How to Prevent Heel Pain from Holding You Back)

After all the traffic jams, ringing phones, crazy deadlines and time-crunching you face throughout the day, your stress levels may be going through the roof. And, if you are a runner, then there might not be much else out there that can bring you peace of mind other than, well, running.

There really is nothing like the chirping birds and the gentle breeze on your face to calm those nerves and help you unwind. And, thankfully, we are blessed with some beautiful running spots right here in our very own backyard!

Tampa Bay is praised for a lot of things, but its prime running spots definitely don’t get enough credit – from nature preserves to sandy white beaches to downtown skylines, Tampa Bay really has it all. In fact, two words that perfectly describe the running scene in this area would definitely have to be “weather” and “water.”

So if you are looking for your next running adventure, look no further. You can lace up your kicks and give these wonderfully unique routes a try.

(And don’t worry, we also have some great tips on how to enjoy your run without heel pain! We are podiatrists, after all.)

The Dunedin Causeway

Length: 3.12 miles

The Dunedin Causeway takes full advantage of Florida’s beach atmosphere. You can choose your spot on the causeway or park at the end and run its full length – it’s up to you. Either way you can bet on having beautiful views as you run along.

This concrete route is constantly used by runners, walkers, bikers and skaters, and it’s perfect for those who love to run near the beach, but not necessarily on the sand.

Clearwater Beach

Length: 2.5 miles

Now, if you aren’t afraid to run on the sand, then Clearwater Beach is the place for you.

This wide, white sand beach is one of Florida’s best running beaches, featuring firm, compact sand at water’s edge. This world-renowned sugar-sand is easy on the shins and knees, so it’s ideal for runners looking for a low-impact surface. And if you are looking to enjoy a beautiful sunset as you run, Clearwater Beach will not disappoint.

Bayshore Boulevard

Length: 4.5 miles

But maybe a healthy mix of both city and nature is more your style.

Well, Bayshore Boulevard can offer you all that and more. A beautiful path stretches along the Hillsborough Bay, providing runners with entertainment from a combination of nature and a beautiful view of downtown. The sidewalk stretches for several miles and contains a variety of other amenities for runners.

The Pinellas Trail

Length: 38.2 miles

One of Florida’s most popular and unique urban pathways, the Pinellas Trail stretches from St. Petersburg north to Tarpon Springs, and on into Pasco County. The pathway is part of the Coast to Coast Connector, a developing trail network that will span 250 miles across the state!

This concrete trail is home to bikers, walkers, joggers, skaters and everyone else under the sun. Although 38.2 miles would be quite the feat, there are many places along the trail to park and run.

But What if Heel Pain is Trying to Hold You Back?

Whether the problem is plantar fasciitis, or any other foot condition that are causing your heels to hurt, like Achilles tendinitis or stress fractures, one thing is for sure – you want it gone!

Well, the good news is that (when treated early) most heel pain conditions can be resolved with conservative treatments. These non-invasive methods are tried and true steps that you can use when trying to eradicate heel pain, or even better – to avoid it altogether.

Here are a few things you can do:

  • Always wear shoes with adequate arch support.
  • Always warm up before starting activities.
  • Stretch daily, as well as before and after activities.
  • Gradually ease into physical activity.
  • Never push through the pain.
  • Apply ice to the area in pain.
  • Take over-the-counter medication to help reduce swelling and discomfort.
  • Consider wearing custom orthotics to get the specific level of support and comfort you need.
  • Avoid high-impact activities until your heel pain subsides completely.
  • Read our free e-book, “Ending Heel Pain: A Guide to Understanding the Causes and Treatments.”

Now, just because resting and reading some good (and extremely helpful) content is part of treating and preventing your heel pain, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to just sit on the couch and prop your feet up for hours on end. When heel pain starts to give you grief, you can simply switch to some exercises that are more low-impact and that will keep you healthy and active while you wait to get back to pounding the pavement. Swimming, for instance, is a great low-impact exercise option.

Need Help? We Are Here for You!

Whether you are an avid runner or just like to jog once in a while, our foot and ankle expert at Precision Foot and Ankle is here to help you keep your feet as healthy and as comfortable as possible so that you can enjoy many more miles to come.

So if foot problems are threatening to hold you back, or if – knock on wood – you experience a foot or ankle injury while running, don’t hesitate to call our office at (727) 399-7167 to schedule an appointment today. Or, take advantage of our handy request form online and one of our trained staff members will reach out to you.

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