Is it just us, or is autumn the best time of the year for runners. Still warm enough to wear shorts, yet brisk enough to encourage you to pick up your pace. You’ve trained during the hot summer months and now you can show it off during these cooler temperature days. These perfect temperatures won’t last long, and before you know it you will be wearing that hoodie and sweatpants on the trial. To make the most out of this prime time of the year for runners, take a look at some of our tips for running during the fall season.
Hit the Trail:
You may have been running on paved roads all summer to avoid dust and heat, or maybe even on a treadmill inside an air conditioned gym, but now is the time to get your favorite running shoes down and dirty.
Take to the trails! The leaves are changing colors, the wildlife is out and energized from cooler temperatures, and you will be too! Breathe in some fresh, brisk autumn air and surround yourself with nature while you move those legs.
Another benefit of running on the trail is a less likelihood of injury. Running on pavement can put more stress on your bones and body, while dirt trails are often a softer landing pad for your feet.
When running on the trail, pick a large tree or boulder and increase your pace until you reach it. Varying your running tempo and incorporating sprints is a great way to add variety to your training.
Vary Your Pace:
Now that the air is a bit crisper, feel free to mix in some faster running. You’ll be surprised how your body adjusts. Often times I feel like I’m flying ( although I definitely am not ) when I run in cooler weather and don’t feel lethargic from the heat.
Next time you go on a run, time your pace out, and when you turn around to come back try to beat that time by a minute or two. If you do that too easy then try and shave off five minutes, and so on.
If you run a loop and not out-and-back, then time how long it takes you to get to certain markers along your run and try and beat those times the next day. This will encourage you to consecutively increase your pace along the entire course of your run rather than just pick up the pace at the end.
New season means time to try new things! Mix up your running routine. Instead of leaving from the front door and going left, go right. Rather than running straight from home hop in the car and drive to a nice park, trail head, or the beach for a change in scenery.
Do you always run alone? Try running with a buddy. Do you always listen to music? Try running without it and hearing your heart beat and nature around you. Or if you always run without music bring your iPod next time and crank your favorite workout tunes.
Whatever it is you choose to mix up, try at least one new thing. Adding a new component to your run will keep you engaged and enthusiastic about running and fitness in general.
Going for Distance:
Fall is a great time to build up some endurance. Cooler temperatures mean less fatigue which will allow your body to push itself for longer runs. Try and increase your long run days by two or three miles.
If you run seven miles every Saturday, try running nine or ten this week. Emphasizing long runs will help bolster you endurance, which is the foundation for performance at these distances.
Also do a medium-long run every other week. If your normal Wednesday run is five miles, go for seven this Wednesday and five the following week. This will help condition your body to keep adding a little more milage here and there and still allow it to actively recover on the shorter run days.
Embrace Different Types of Runs:
On weekends you may have time for driving to your favorite trail and running ten miles in the rays of sunshine surrounded by birds and squirrels. During the week you may only have time to dash out the front door and run for twenty minutes before you have to go to work and hope not doesn’t rain on your while you do it. Either way, embrace whatever type of run you go on.
Getting the blood moving and lungs pumping on a quick run is better than not doing anything at all! Plus you’ll feel energized and wide awake the rest of your day from the oxygen it pumps to your brain.
Next time you hit the trail, make it a dirt one and be sure to mix up your routine. Also, don’t forget to run in your local turkey-trot and get the family and friends involved! Living a healthy and fit lifestyle is a group effort and more feasible when surrounded by people with the same goals.
Run Strong, #BakcountryStrong