There’s nothing better than running during the fall season. The temperatures start to drop and all of your hard summer work starts to pay off. It’s even more rewarding if you’re transitioning to to fall and you live in a humid southern climate. With these essential fall running tips, you can bring your training to the next level, avoid getting sick due to seasonal weather changes and stay fit throughout the season.
Fall running has so many benefits – no matter if you’re a beginner runner or a seasoned runner. It’s a sweet period of time when the temperatures are on your side. There’s nothing better than feeling the crunchy leaves under your feet as you pound the pavement. Year after year, I’ve come to appreciate all of the benefits that come along with running in the fall.
There are a few elements that you have to be aware of during the seasonal changes to ensure that you stay safe and healthy. You don’t have to give up running outdoors when the weather drops. Instead – celebrate it! Here’s how to enjoy the season, without injury, and make the most of fall running.
7 Fall Running Tips: Staying Fit With Seasonal Changes
Be Open To A Varied Running Routine
Along with outdoor seasonal changes, many people have to workout around their schedule changing in the fall. Kids are going back to school and the time change happens. The days get shorter too. This leaves you with a varied routine that your body isn’t used to.
Don’t jump into your new routine with gusto. Instead, allow your body time to adjust. If you’re now running in the early morning hours, before getting the kids on the bus, decrease your mileage for a few week to get acquainted with the time change. If you have the opportunity to run midday, search out new paths with fall foliage. Sometimes the change in your routine can help break up the mundane and provide new motivation.
Invest In Safety Gear: Reflective Clothing, Lights & New Shoes
Just like checking your house smoke detectors each season, you should look at your running gear. Take the time to invest in a reflective running vest if you’re starting to run in the dark. You can also look into hand-held running lights that wrap around your wrist while running. Avoid busy roads and intersections if you’re running in the dark. Stick to an area that has sidewalks or lighted pathways.
Another fall running tip is to avoid slipping on wet leaves. There tends to be a lot of moisture on the ground during the fall season. Check the treads on your running shoes to ensure that you’ve got a stable grip. You might need to dry wet running shoes in-between workouts or alternate pairs.
Pick Up Your Pace
If you’re a seasoned runner, who has been running all summer long, then you can allow yourself to pick up your running pace. Test your limits and push a little bit more. The cooler temperatures and drop in humidity help increase your stamina. It’s less effort on your body to do the work.
You can ease into it with some speed drills and work on your cadence. Need an easy running drill? Here’s my go to: Run slightly faster for five to 10 steps, then decrease to a jog for 10 steps. You can run slightly faster each time until you’re sprinting.
Dress In Layers
Avoid wearing cotton during your runs and stick to sweat-wicking material that will pull the moisture off of your body. Temperature changes can happen quickly during the fall season. Layer your clothing and plan to take off layers off as you warm up.
Ideally, you want to dress for temperatures that are 10 degrees above the actual outdoor temperature reading. That’s what it will feel like once your body is warmed up. It’s most important that your core body temperature is most protected too. I pick vests, long-sleeve tops that can be worn over tank tops and capris. Running leggings tend to be too warm for me until the first frost. Anything that I can pack away, into my hydration vest or wrap around my waist (like a long-sleeve shirt) is a must.
Don’t Neglect Your Hydration
So many runners stop focusing on hydration as soon as the humidity subsides and the temperatures drop. Your sweat will actually evaporate quicker and you don’t realize how much water you’re losing. Instead of changing hydration needs, think of summer as your preparation.
Don’t change your hydration as you head into fall. Stay focused on the importance of hydration for fall running. If you struggle to drink water as the weather changes, purchase and infused water bottle add some fresh apple slices and cinnamon. The infused water blend tastes refreshing with notes of fall flavors – without any unnatural sugars.
Sign Up For A Fall Race (My Go-To Of Fall Running Tips)
If you’ve been training all summer long, signing up for a fall race is a great idea. It’s my go-to way to celebrate hard work! You can test your endurance and progress that you’ve worked hard for too. Many runners like to sign up for fall races because it’s an optimal time to set a new PR. The weather plays a huge part of your overall performance. Cooler weather and less humidity oftentimes means that you can push your body a bit more without added stress.
Renew Your Motivation To Train
My favorite of all these fall running tips: don’t burnout. Burnout happens to the best of runners. You can push too hard for too long and then you’re left with the undesirable feeling of quitting. Take the seasonal change as an opportunity to refresh your motivation. Change your routine. Add some cross-training into your routine – for instance: many runners benefit from yoga.
Maybe it’s time that you’re finally stepping off of the treadmill and getting back outside. Dig a little deeper and find your motivation again. Fall is a great time to re-focus on your fitness goals, before the harshness of winter sets in.