Runners Tech: 7 Things Every Runner Should Know About Fall Running
- Dress to impress. Many runners overdress in fall. Once you get the heart pumping and the feet turning, the temperature may just be perfect for running. Of course, this is based on your preference and location. But don’t be so quick to reach for your winter gear at the first sign of lowered temperature – save the winter gear for, well, winter! My suggestion is to layer lightly and skip the jacket; adding little by little to your summer running garb.
- Drink up. Running in fall, you might not sweat as much as you used to in summer. But it doesn’t mean you should stop drinking – water, that is. The usual hydration rules apply here as well: stay hydrated before, during, and after a run.
- Spend quality time. Now that the weather is more manageable then those blistering summer days, it makes sense to add some mileage. In addition, it will likely take you slightly longer to properly warm up before a run. So remember to prepare for extra time on your next outing.
- Tread carefully. Fallen leaves are potentially hazardous because they can cover or bury objects or road conditions that are harmful to runners. This problem is greatly escalated by the shortened daylight around this time of the year. Be extremely cautious when stepping on leaves as they are quite slippery – if you can’t avoid them altogether. And if you must run in the twilight hours or in pitch-black conditions, be sure to check out my 5 Eye-Opening Tips For Running In Darkness.
- Explore. The dramatic change of scenery between summer and winter can be as breathtaking as your run. So go to a new location with lots of foliage to have a painterly run; or simply revisit your favorite spots and be inspired by the great outdoors.
- Make it official. Fall is the perfect time to assess your hard training sessions done in the past few months. With many races planned around this time, it isn’t hard to find one that fits your distance and goal. And if you’ve been running in heat during summer, you’ll likely notice the benefits of heat acclimatization. So don’t be surprised if you set a few PRs when you race in fall.
- Have a good time. Running in fall is enjoyable – so enjoy it! Because when you enjoy doing something, you’ll almost always do it better. So enjoy the perfect weather and poetic scenery as much as your legs allow. As a bonus, take your camera with you on the run and be ready to snap some amazing shots that non-runners usually don’t get to see! And above all else, don’t forget to share those pics, your latest running stories, or your impossible new PRs with everyone you know.
How does season affect your training? What do you like about fall running? What are some of your secrets or tips for getting the most out of it?
(Kevin Lu is an engineer, currently working in the field of orthopedic devices. He received his B.S. and M.S. in biomedical engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology. Science, technology, and running are Kevin’s passions. In his spare time, Kevin trains for and participates in races of various distances. His recent personal records include 20:58/5K and 5:48:22/50K. Follow him on Twitter (@SweatEngine) and check out his blog Beyond Distance.)