As much as I may be kicking and screaming over the departure of my beloved summer; the fact that Fall has arrived is now inevitable. The temperature has plummeted, and the brightly colored leaves are dropping from the trees nearly as fast. Because every now and then I like to post “how to” content, to allow the newbies to learn from my plethora of running mistakes, here are four tips to keep you safe, and keep you running, through the changing of the seasons.
You know that saying “if you don’t like the weather in New England, wait five minutes, it’ll change”? It applies double in the fall. Just yesterday afternoon, it was so cold and rainy I thought it might actually snow. Then in the blink of an eye, the sun came out and the humidity sky rocketed. The change in seasons often brings widely variable temperatures, and that’s not limited to only the North East. While you may start a run in the brisk, cool, morning, your workout may end in much milder, sunny weather. Alternatively, a later afternoon or early evening run may experience significant temperature drops as the sun begins to set. Wearing or bringing multiple layers of running specific clothing will ensure your ability to add, or remove, clothing to keep you comfortable in the varying temperatures. In short: layers, layers, LAYERS.
In the summer when the sun is beating down on your shoulders and you are sweating buckets; hydrating is an obvious task. Athletes tend to be very aware of the importance of hydrating during the hot, summer months. As the weather cools, however, it can become easier to forget to maintain healthy hydration levels while exercising, as runners often sweat less, and find the mild temperatures more comfortable. I know when I’m struggling to stay warm, hydration is the LAST thing on my mind. While your personal hydration levels may indeed decrease during the cooler months, it is still important to be sure to properly hydrate before, during, and after each workout.
Wear Bright Colors
Don’t be mistaken for a deer (moose, bear,etc.): if you run on trails or in more rural areas, be sure to wear bright, visible colors. Hunting seasons vary by location, and unfortunately, some irresponsible hunters may even find themselves on protected land that prohibits hunting. In this situation, it is better to be safe than sorry, so wearing bright, even fluorescent clothing, will make sure others are aware that you are a runner, and not some sort of animal (Bigfoot!). Further, autumn often brings darker, gloomier (gross, dull) days, so wearing bright colors will also make you visible to traffic, cyclists, and other runners that you may encounter.
As the daylight hours of autumn begin to dwindle, you may find that your morning or early evening run is becoming increasingly darker every day. If you choose to run in the dawn or dusk hours, be sure to make yourself visible to oncoming traffic with proper reflective gear as well as personal light devices, such as a running headlamp, as well as following nighttime running safety suggestions. Be Smart, be seen.
Watch Your Step.
Leaves can be slippery, and can cover things like rocks, roots, holes, or anything else just waiting to trip you. Avoid the face-plant, watch your step.
To sum up this post:
1) Dress for anything from -10 to 95 degrees.
2) Drink up.
3)Don’t be mistaken for a deer.
4) Make sure you can see where you are going.
Have any Fall running tips to add? Comment below!