If you’re looking for a new workout and are tired of yoga or you've been using your Peloton to hang clothes, it might be time to consider trail running.
Fitness buff Tiffani Robbins moved to the Emerald Coast just over a year ago after spending the last decade in New York City. She taught boutique group fitness classes all over the city, including the trampoline class she’s famous for. Now she lives in Santa Rosa Beach with her husband and one-year-old son.
The high-energy instructor is a NASM certified personal trainer and ACE certified Health Coach who offers popular virtual fitness classes weekly on Zoom, with a focus on HIIT (high intensity interval training), boxing, and trampoline. If you’re not interested in running, you could always tune in online. Don’t worry, you don’t need a trampoline for all of the classes — just on Saturdays.
If you’re thinking about starting a workout routine of your own this spring, Tiffani offers suggestions on the best trails, the equipment you’ll need and how to get going.
How did you get started running in the area?
I’ve used running as a form of exercise for many years (in addition to other things). When I need to clear my head, not think and get some fresh air, I head out for a run. Whether it’s one mile or six miles, it always turns my mood around. After having my son and dealing with some postpartum anxiety, fitness became my therapy even more than before. Getting out in the Florida sunshine, seeing the beautiful water and getting those endorphins is the best medicine.
Do you have any favorite trails?
I live off of Chat Holley in Santa Rosa Beach, where you might have seen me running down the sidewalk or bike path and along the water on Highway 331. I always smile when I turn the corner and start running back under the overpass along the bay.
I also love running on the bike path along 30A. If you live nearby, drive to 30A, park in a public beach access lot, pick a direction on the bike path, and start running.
What sets this area apart when it comes to running?
The weather! It’s the middle of winter and I can throw on a long sleeve shirt and vest almost any day and go out for a run.
The bike path along 30A and surrounding areas is also a huge perk. No dodging cars and stopping at stop light. Also, being able to see the water and beach while running always brings a smile to my face. Florida running is way better than New York City running if you ask me.
If someone wants to get into running or hiking in our area, what advice would you give them?
Start small. Plan to do just one or two miles at first. Alternate between jogging for two minutes and walking for two minutes. Remember that any type of movement is better than none. Each time you go out, you may be able to run a little longer or go a little further and every little bit counts.
What should they should know before they go?
Get some good running shoes. Hydrate before, after and during if you’re running a long distance or if it’s summer in Florida. Wear a hat to keep the sweat and sun out of your eyes. Have fun. If you’re not training for a race, who cares about pace and mileage? Just get moving.
Get involved in a good strength training program as well. It will complement your training and make you a better runner.