Fall is my favorite season to run for two reasons: cooler temperatures to do intensity workouts without overheating, and perfect season to get back in shape after taking time off in the summer. Every fall, I look forward to setting new goals whether it is to improve on a personal best or participate in a new event. It is also cross-country season, which is my favorite type of running because it is low key, inexpensive, offers challenging terrain, but more importantly brings me back to my childhood when I first started running in Quebec.
Fall is also a good time for those who want to learn how to run with clinics or clubs. Many of these run excellent programs to match your fitness level and challenge you as well. However, before launching into an exercise routine, visit your doctor. If you decide not to join a clinic, there are many online programs to choose from, but pick the proper running program to avoid overtraining or injury.
Here are my top 6 running tips to get you fall ready:
- Gear: Invest in sweat wicking fabrics, a light weight jacket, and long sleeve shirt. A vest is also ideal. Wear tights or capris. Dress for the weather conditions and wear reflective gear when there is less light. Dress in layers. I often wear a running cap to keep my head warm.
- Footwear: Visit a specialty running store to get them fitted properly. Trail runners are best for hitting the trails. I have two pairs of shoes to alternate my workouts in. For cross country, I wear trail shoes to keep me from slipping on rocks or loose gravel.
- Reward: When the weather is colder than usual, and you don’t feel like running, I find a good way to get me in the mood is to reward myself after a run with a hot drink. Otherwise, running with a friend will also keep you committed to working out. Once a week, I try to run with a friend to keep me motivated.
- Social: Join a running group to meet new friends and pick up running tips or advice.
- Hydration: Drink plenty of water even though it is cold, and follow a healthy diet. If you have any dietary concerns, ask a registered dietitian before you start running.
- Stretch: After your workout, stretch all your muscle groups. I do a cool-down after a hard training interval session then I stretch.
Fall is a good time to try some cross-country running, explore the trails, and improve your performance or get back into fitness after taking the summer off.