Tips for Running as the Seasons Change: Autumn

For much of the country, fall means infusing all of our favorite treats with pumpkin spice, but for runners it is the beginning of race season. Even if you are not a seasoned runner, this season beckons us to lace up our shoes and get outside! There’s no better time to give running a shot than in the fall, the moderate temperatures, natural beauty, and fresh crisp air make it an ideal time to lace up your running shoes and get outside. Whether you’re new to running or you’re an old pro, fall is a beautiful time to get outside. Want some tips and tricks to get you running?

From Turkey Trots to fall marathons, it’s go time. Fall races occur almost every weekend, check out this list of upcoming local races! With leaves changing colors, running is one of the best ways to scope out the beautiful views our area has to offer! 

FOOD TREATS Fall is a time for our favorite comfort foods. Thanksgiving dinner, pumpkin pies, grandma's world famous cookies, and family gatherings all include to some serious calorie consumption. On average, American gains one to five pounds during the holiday season and most of that weight is never lost despite our best attempts as New Year's Resolutions. Does that mean you have to sacrifice mashed potatoes and apple pie? Not necessarily if you remain committed to your run schedule during these months you can stay ahead of those extra pounds and raise a toast to .

TAKE PROPER PRECAUTIONS Before you start running outside, take the proper safety measures. It's important to wear reflective garb especially since precious hours of light are limited, and more hazards are likely to present themselves with the shortening of the days.

WARM UPS ARE EVEN MORE IMPORTANT Few things can deflate your fitness goals like an injury. Running with cold muscles that are not properly stretched pre-run can result in strains that not only cause pain but also keep you from jogging the trails you love for days, weeks, and in some cases, even months. So take a few moments and prime those muscles for success! Start your run with a 5 to 10 minute jog and follow with some simple stretches. Key muscle groups to focus on would be the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and hip flexors. Check out one of our prior posts for other great stretches to keep you fit and flexible while warming up those muscles for a great run!

ADD 10 MINUTES Even if you typically run in the wee hours of the morning, a 10-minute sleep loss won't hurt you. Remember to start at a slower pace to ensure a good warm-up. The increased distance will burn more fat and ramp up your fitness. If you have been running shorter miles in the summer months, now  is the time to ramp up the mileage and use the cooler weather to your advantage. These long runs can help you reignite the passion for distance running that may have fallen by the wayside during the heat wave of summer.

ADD A DAY Tack on an additional short-run day after your long run. You'll improve your fitness, and the easy running will increase blood flow to the muscles and speed your recovery. If your five-mile long run is on Saturday, do a gentle two-to three-miler on Sunday at the same pace as your long run.

CHECK OUT YOUR GEAR Modern runners have an enormous advantage to those who started out in the running boom of the late 1970s and 80s. The evolution of running gear and specially designed fabric such as polypropylene, capilene, and some wool/synthetic blends wick moisture away from your body and keep you as warm and dry as possible. These luxuries were not available to the early trail blazers. Enjoy fabrics, shoes, and gear specially designed for running in this season to ensure you enjoy a safe, dry, and more comfortable run!

Always remember, we are here to help you achieve your goals and keep you active! Schedule an appointment today! (864) 881-2242