Fall is here! Fall is arguably one of the most wonderful times of year for runners. The cooler mornings and mild days bring along large training windows and provide runners with ample time to get their miles in.
Plus, those fall days are directly following the hot and humid days of summer. This means, there are some personal records, or PRs, that might have a chance to come to fruition.
If you’re new to running, odds are you’re new to running in the fall. Let’s dive into a few tips for running in the fall, complete with suggestions on how to end your run.
Use a Light When Running in the Fall
The sun starts to set earlier and rises later in the fall. This means less morning daylight and less evening daylight to get your run in.
Probably should just skip running then…
Nope. That’s no fun at all.
You don’t need to skip running during your favorite time of day (which is obviously morning time), but you do need to be smart. Since it’s going to be darker out, you’re going to have a harder time seeing the road in front of you. Plus, everyone else who is out is going to have a harder time seeing you! This includes cars, motorcyclists, school buses, and other runners. The list goes on and on and on.
Never fear this is where it’s recommended to grab either a headlight or a light vest. Something that can help 1) illuminate you and 2) illuminate the pathway in front of you. Both are going to help you to stay safe and get you home in one piece.
Here are a few of our favorites below:
Dress in Layers When Running in the Fall
The weather in the fall is a dream for many runners. They grab their shorts and singlet, heading straight out the door without a second thought.
Others of us tend to struggle in the fall weather. The cooler temps are nice, but often they are on the edge of being just a little too cold. Especially if you have circulation issues such as Raynaud’s Phenomenon.
This doesn’t mean you can’t go out in the fall weather and enjoy all that it has to offer. Instead, it means you just need to do a little more planning.
Dress in layers!! Whether you want to throw on a super lightweight long-sleeved shirt over your singlet or tank top or just a pair of sleeves, be sure to grab something. It can even be as simple as a pair of gloves.
Be sure to focus on something that is easy to throw on and easy to pull off while you’re running. I’m personally a huge fan of sleeves since I don’t have to pull anything off over my head when running. Gloves work as well, but don’t cover much surface area when it comes to your arms.
Here’s some sleeves for you to check out, especially if you were wondering what they are:
Beware of Leaf Piles When Running in the Fall
Ahh, fall! With crisp mornings and crunchy leaves decorating the ground in all their glory. Beware, those crunchy leaves don’t always have your best interest at heart. Especially on the trails.
It’s not that they are necessarily out to get you, they just don’t care where they fall. Whether it be neatly to the sides of the road over smack down in the middle of your trail. They are going to fall wherever they want to fall.
This means they are going to be covering parts of raised sidewalks, roots on trails, or even piles of dog poop (true story).
Plus, with a little bit of rain or a morning frost, those leaves are going to get pretty slick.
Stay upright and stay alert, making sure those little fall icons don’t cause you to…fall.
Catch a Sunrise, But Stay Alert
Nothing beats starting your run in the dark and finishing just as the sun starts to rise. There’s something magical as those bright orange and red colors start to fill the skyline.
However, as you’re enjoying the sunrise, odds are motorists might be struggling to see out their windshield. You know you’ve been there. You’ve left the house right at sunrise to drop the kids off at school or head over to work. Turning the car towards the east and BAM! The glorious sun is piercing the sky, full of radiant colors of light.
…andddd making it near impossible to see out of the windshield. This means, as a driver, you’re having a hard time seeing out of your car to see the road. Let alone see anyone who might happen to be running alongside the road.
As a runner, this concerns you, because 1) drivers might not see you running alongside a road 2) you don’t want to get squished. Regardless of how many articles of reflective clothing you are wearing or how many headlamps you have on, you might not be seen.
Don’t play a game of chicken with motorists. Just play it safe, stay on the sidewalk if you can. If you can’t and a car is coming towards you, heading into the sunrise, get over as far as you can. Even pause your watch for a minute and let the car pass. You’ll thank yourself when you’re at home eating breakfast.
End Your Run at a Cider Mill
If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with plentiful cider mills, make plans to end your run at one.
The best plan of action? Park your car and start your run at the cider mill. Then circle back to complete your run to the finish.
This is a legit suggestion, just in case you thought there was sarcasm in there. I’m telling you, nothing beats a cold glass of cider and a cider mill donut after a long run. Just be sure to bring along some form of protein to aid in your recovery when you are done as well.
Conclusion to 5 Tips for Running in the Fall
There ya go! Five practical tips (especially that last one!) for running in the fall. While there are of course tons of other fall running tips, start with these to help keep you safe (and happy ;)). Feel free to reach out and ask if you have additional questions regarding fall running.
And if you are looking for some cute running shirts, sometimes inspired by the Most Magical Place on Earth, be sure to check out the following designs:
There’s even more to find over at the Magic for Miles Shop on Etsy. Want to stay up today with the latest Magic for Miles designs and get more helpful running, RunDisney and major race tips? Be sure to follow Magic for Miles over at IG @magic.for.miles, Facebook, and Pinterest!
Why are the above body lights your favorites? Do they cause chafing/rubbing hot spots? Why choose one over the other? Are their cost differences?
Hi Beth! I’ve had good luck with both working well, no chafing from them. I like the chest lights better than headlights (although I use those too in the winter) because the headlamps tend to slip down if I don’t have a hat on (other people don’t have that issue). That being said, I always have a shirt on, at least a tank top, when using both of them. Haven’t tried them for a sports bra run. The Noxgear one is going to be more expensive, but I do find it’s nice to have the bright lights on both my front and back. I do like the spotlight that the single light creates, it helps to illuminate the pathway. But! Good news, Noxgear just released a chest light too! Today, belive it or not. If you click on the pictures you can see the specs on Amazon. Hope that helps!