Cooler temperatures, cloudy skies, beautiful scenery and low humidity are some conditions that runners often dream about. After battling high temperatures and humidity throughout the summer, it begins to feel like we will never experience any relief. But then the first cooler run occurs, leaving runners filled with optimism and excitement. A new season is finally here.
Fall running season.
While fall might not be here to stay just yet, it has definitely made a few appearances. Each time I step outside in shorts and a tank top and feel a bit of a chill, I smile to myself at the welcomed change. Knowing that temperatures will soon be dropping for good brings me a wave of optimism after a tough season of summer running.
Being a year round runner has many advantages, but along with it comes countless obstacles and struggles. Battling the elements can feel like a never ending hurdle. We face wind, rain, hail, snow, sleet and so much more outdoors on the run.
But lucky for us, fall brings a running season with the least amount of resistance on the run. It’s easy to head out the door and get comfortable running in the cooler temperatures.
Sometimes when conditions are so perfect, we forget to challenge ourselves.
These fall running tips will help you take this upcoming season to the next level. As the anticipation builds and runners of all sorts unite in their excitement, take some time to reflect on the summer and explore the opportunities that are coming with the fall.
Fall running season brings so much joy. Here are a few fall running tips to help you make the most of the conditions, achieve new goals and push yourself to new limits. Take advantage of the beautiful weather and bring your fall running season to the next level!
8 Fall Running Tips to Bring Training to the Next Level
- Set new goals. As optimal running weather approaches, take advantage of the prime conditions by setting new goals for yourself. Fall is a great time to strive for new PRs, as the cooler temperatures make our body work less to hit familiar paces. Goal setting is a great habit to get into, and re-evaluating or creating new goals at the start of each new season is a great way to maintain the habit. Check out this running goal setting method to ensure you reach your goals at your next race!
- Sign up for races. Fall is the most popular time of year for races! Many distance races are scheduled in the fall, as the cooler temperatures make long runs a bit more manageable. Whether you’re aiming to run your first 5k or marathon, fall has plenty of racing opportunities. If you’ve scheduled a goal race later in the season, signing up for a few shorter races during training will help you stay motivated and focused on your goal.
- Increase the intensity of your speed workouts. As the temperature and humidity drop, it becomes easier for our bodies to maintain our regular paces. Running a 10 minute mile pace no longer takes as much effort as it did during those hot, humid days of summer. As the cooler weather makes its arrival, try to slightly increase the intensity of your speed workouts. Whether that means adding another interval, increasing your tempo pace, or shortening your recoveries – it’s up to you. You will likely surprise yourself with the results! Here are 3 speed workouts to try this running season.
- Wear plenty of layers. Fall running season is notorious for its wishy washy days. Some days the weather is perfect, some days require our winter gear, and others have us sweating buckets. With the unpredictable weather and greatly changing temperatures throughout the day, layering is a must. Layering up for a run that starts off cooler will make it so much easier to shed a layer as the sun comes up and the temperature rises. Preparing for the unexpected means bringing plenty of clothes that can easily be changed. Check out these must have running gear and gadgets for some ideas!
- Use the weather forecast when scheduling your workouts. Since the weather fluctuates so quickly in the fall, check the weather forecast for the week when scheduling your workouts. You may be surprised to find an unexpectedly warm day and be able to avoid completing your long run when the temperature sky rockets. Look for abnormally warm or cold weather and try to plan your indoor cross or strength training workouts for these days. Being prepared can make all the difference in the fall.
- Experiment with new routes. Aside from the glorious running conditions, fall running season brings us another bonus: the beautiful colors. Running suddenly becomes even more exciting, as we get to experience the falling leaves firsthand. Fall is a great time to experiment with new running routes. Those local trails through the forest probably look brilliant at this time of year. You might be surprised to discover untapped motivation and inspiration as you hit the trails in a new location.
- Create a hydration strategy. Cooler temperatures means that our thirst on the run decreases – but it doesn’t mean that we are not longer losing water as we run. Cooler weather usually makes us feel like we aren’t thirsty because we are no longer trudging through suffocating heat. But despite our instincts – drinking water on the run is still just as important. Make a point to bring along water for your longer runs and rehydrate as soon as you finish. Determine how much liquids you were consuming during training runs in the summer, and aim to consume that amount in the fall – whether or not you feel thirsty. Here’s a surprisingly easy way to drink more water every day.
- Focus on recovery. Fall running brings longer training runs, as goal races approach. These longer training runs mean that our training ramps up. Most training plans peak sometime in the fall with some of the highest mileage weeks. These longer runs make focusing on recovery even more important! Reward your body for its mileage by dedicating time after each run to recover. Spend time stretching, foam rolling, or completing yoga poses. This long run recovery timeline will help you recover from any run quickly and easily!
These fall running tips are just the beginning. The start of a new running season brings with it endless possibilities! Take some time to reflect on the past season of summer running – what went well and what didn’t. Use the season change to set yourself up for success these next few months. Discover new running motivation as you set out to see the beautiful colors. Enjoy this fall running season, because before we know it – it’ll be changing.