It’s that time of year again – the days get shorter, the air is a little cooler, and the leaves start turning a multitude of colors and dropping onto the ground. If you’ve been running all summer, it might seem a little hard to get out there in the colder temperatures and get your training runs in. But fall is a great season for running! Here are a few fun tips for getting the most out of running in the fall.
Leaves are just beginning to fall in Central Ohio
Enjoy the cooler temperatures.
It’s actually easier to run longer in cooler weather than in the heat of summer. Use the fall to work on speed or stamina with your running. As it gets colder, you may also want to wear layers. It’s not uncommon in the fall to start a run feeling chilly only to have your body heat up by the end of it. Wear comfortable layers that you can take off as you warm up. You can also use the cooler weather as an excuse to buy some new running gear! (And aren’t we always looking for an excuse to buy new running gear?)
Throw in some trail runs to enjoy the changing foliage.
Running through the woods while the leaves are falling is one of my favorite times to run. There’s something magical about the feel of the crisp air, the unique cadence of leaves crunching under your feet, and the smell of the forest in the fall. I find it completely energizing. Search for trails near you to explore and enjoy the amazing fall scenery while running or hiking. It will help break up your normal running routine in a rewarding way. Just keep an eye on where you step as leaves can cover up holes, roots, and other hazards on trails.
Find a trail in your area to enjoy this fall!
Sign up for a fun race such as a Halloween-themed costume run or a Turkey Trot.
These are not the types of races you would normally run for a PR or PB, but ones that you run for the camaraderie and the enjoyment of the season. And knowing you have a race coming up will help keep you motivated to run consistently.
Reward your runs.
There’s nothing better after a run in colder temperatures than a cup of steaming hot chocolate. Reward yourself from time to time with comfort foods you enjoy. In fact, if you’re staying consistent with a weekly running schedule, there’s no need to worry about packing on the pounds if you occasionally indulge in seasonal treats. Enjoy the bounty of the fall harvest!
Watch your available daylight.
Be aware that, as each day goes by, daylight hours grow shorter and shorter. If you usually run in the evenings, be careful because it might get darker sooner than you thought! Be prepared with reflective gear or a headlamp in case you find yourself running in the dark.
Chapel is a recreational runner and hockey player who enjoys learning and writing about sports nutrition. She is currently working on her MPH (Nutrition) with Liberty University and serves in the U.S. Army Reserve as a chaplain in Columbus, OH.