End of summer feels bittersweet, doesn’t it?
The leaves are turning colours and fall jackets are starting to come out of the closet. As much as I love hot summer days, there is one thing I look forward to in the fall – running.
The milder temperatures make it more inviting to get outside for a run without worrying about overheating. It’s not cool enough yet to have to bundle up for a run, so I still feel light as I breeze through the park trails. It’s also a great way to take in the warm sun and check out the beautiful fall colours.
I’ve compiled some tips to help you transition into running in cooler weather. Get ready to love fall runs as much as I do.
1. Switch up your gear
It’s tempting to head out in your summer run clothes if the weather isn’t too cool yet. But you’ll want to make some adjustments.
It’s common to overdress in the fall. A good way to tell if you’re dressed appropriately, is to feel a bit cool during your warm up. That way, as your body heats up you’ll be at the right temperature. Choose lighter tech materials (not cotton) that dry quickly to keep you dry throughout your run.
2. Update your shoes
The timing to switch to new shoes can be tricky if you’re training for a fall marathon. You don’t want to wear brand new shoes to race day, but you also don’t want to wear old ones because your risk of injury is higher as shoes wear down. Plan to switch your shoes while you’re still in training so you can get some miles on them before race day.
3. Try longer runs
It’s more pleasant to go for a long run when it’s not 20+ degrees outside. Take advantage of fall temperatures by going on longer runs. You’ll be more comfortable, even as you heat up, so you’ll be able to last longer outside. Don’t forget to stay hydrated though. As you increase your running time, you’ll need to plan to have water on hand because you’ll still sweat even though the temperature outside is cooler.
4. Change up your stretching routine
Cooler weather means you’ll need to warm up your muscles. Start by walking, or with a slow jog to let your muscles warm up. Some dynamic stretches you can use as part of your pre-run routine are lunges or caterpillar walks. Remember, muscles stiffen easily in cold weather, so make stretching part of your routine.
5. Stay safe in the dark
With the end of Daylight Savings Time, it gets dark a lot earlier so you’ll need to wear reflective clothing for your evening runs. Consider adjusting the time of your evening run so it’s lighter out. Choose clothes and accessories that are meant for nighttime running. It’s a good idea to find fluorescent and reflective clothing that can be seen when light is shining on you and when it’s not. Stay safe out there, and remember if you’re running on the road to run against the flow of traffic so you can see what’s coming ahead of you.
Most of all, enjoy your fall runs! They’re a great way to get outside and savour the last bits of warm sunshine while you watch the leaves change.