Many runners will say that their favorite time of year to hit the pavement is fall, and I’m no different. There’s just something about that cool (yet, not cold) crisp air that makes you just want to get out there and, well, run!
However, just like any time of year, there are a few quirks to running in the fall that you may not have thought of. Read on for six tips to make your next autumn run great whether you’re a seasoned jogger or new to the running game!
1. Dress in layers. I like to think of dressing for an autumn run like packing for a trip to San Fransisco — you can never have too many layers! This time of year the temperature can really vary from hour to hour and from in the shade to in the sun, so when in doubt, dress for colder weather with layers that you can shed as you warm up. One great tool for reference is Runner’s World’s What to Wear feature.
2. Pay attention to the time. The daylight hours are quickly dwindling, so don’t be surprised when your usual 7 p.m. summer run goes from bright sunshine to sunset. The same goes for the morning, as your usual sunrise run is now pitch black. While it’s always safer to run during the day, if you do choose to run in the dark, be sure to dress appropriately with bright colors and reflective gear.
3. Watch where you step. Sure the leaves falling around you are gorgeous, but unless you’re running on a flat track, those pretty leaves can cover up potholes on the roads, cracks on the sidewalks and other hazards that can cause tripping or, worse, face planting. (Been there, done that!) Wet leaves can also be slippery to run on, and it may even start to ice over or snow, so if you’re running during or after rain, be very careful out there.
4. Protect your eyes and skin. Now that the temperatures are cooler, you’ve probably pushed the sunscreen back to the depths of your bathroom closet, but don’t! The sun’s rays are less direct this time of year, but they are still plenty strong to cause damage or sunburn. Protect your eyes with proper sunglasses and all exposed skin with at SPF of at least 30.
5. Try a new route. There is no better time to switch up your running route than in the fall. Instead of running on a track or around your neighborhood, try trail running or a jog on a paved trail at a park with a lot of trees. Get out there and explore.
6. Enjoy the scenery. This is probably the easiest tip of all to follow — enjoy the natural beauty! Lace up those shoes and get outside somewhere new. The benefits of exercising outdoors are endless!
What’s your favorite season to run in?