With cooler temps and colorful scenery beckoning you outdoors, fall is the perfect time to grab a pair of sneakers and go for a run. After months of heat, humidity and rainy days, the cool and crisp days of the season will reinvigorate you and add some extra pep to your step.
If you’re like many runners, you look forward to this time of year to up your performance, compete or simply run more joyfully. Whether fall is appealing to you because of the weather, the scenery or the abundance of races available to test your limits, here are 5 tips to help make this your best running season ever.
Embrace routine. Summer is fun, but the lack of structure to your routine may have made it difficult to stick to a regular running routine. With school and work schedules back on track, now is a great time to commit to a regular running schedule.
Sign up for an event. There’s nothing like having a goal to work towards – and for runners, training for a specific event is as motivating as it gets. Find a race that piques your interest, register and put it on your calendar. Then make a plan to train so you’re ready to go on race day.
Tap into your senses. Very often, runners focus only on the miles they need to log, but fall is the perfect time to enjoy the journey. Pay attention to the vibrant colors of the trees, the crunch of leaves underfoot and the scents of the season as the miles tick easily by. Not only will your run feel more effortless, but it will also help reduce stress – a big bonus for your health and your mood.
Focus on endurance. If you want to improve as a runner, increasing mileage to improve your endurance is key. Fall conditions are ideal for adding mileage. The weather is milder so you tend to not burn out as quickly. The scenery is distracting as the miles roll away. And you’re more likely to have a structured schedule so you can carve out extra time to run. Of course, be sure to increase mileage slowly so you don’t overdo it or risk injury.
Join a running group. Running alone has its benefits, but there’s something to be said for joining a running group when it comes to keeping you motivated. You’ll not only feel more accountable but can get tips and advice to improve your running game. Plus, you’ll find like-minded people who share your interests. During fall, running groups often get more active since it is prime training time for marathons and other distance events.