By Jennipher Walters for DietsInReview.com
Many runners will declare their favorite season to hit the pavement is fall, and I’m no different. There’s just something about that cool (yet, not cold) crisp air that makes you want to get out there and run.
Just like any time of year, though, there are a few idiosyncrasies about running in the fall that you may not have considered. Check our list before you hit the road.
1. Wear layers. Dress for fall running like you would pack for a trip to San Fransisco — you can never have too many layers! This time of year the temperature can vary by the hour and from shade to sun, so when in doubt, dress for colder weather with layers that you can shed as you warm up.
2. Watch the time. The daylight hours are quickly dwindling, so don’t be surprised when your usual 7 p.m. summer run goes from bright to dark almost overnight. This also applies for morning runners, as your usual sunrise run is now pitch black. While it’s always safer to run during the day, if you do choose to run in the dark, be sure to dress appropriately with bright colors and reflective gear.
3. Watch your step. Sure the leaves falling around you are gorgeous, but unless you’re running on a flat track, those pretty leaves can cover up potholes on the roads, sidewalk cracks, and other hazards that can cause tripping or, worse, face planting. Wet leaves can also be slippery to run on, and it may even start to ice over or snow, so if you’re running during or after rain, be extra cautious.
4. Protect your eyes and skin. With the cooler temperatures you’ve probably pushed the sunscreen back to the depths of your bathroom closet, but don’t! The sun’s rays are less direct this time of year, but they are still plenty strong to cause damage or sunburn. Protect your eyes with proper sunglasses and all exposed skin with an SPF of at least 30.
5. Test a new route. There is no better time to switch up your running route than in the fall. Instead of running on a track or around your neighborhood, try trail running or a jog on a paved trail at a park great tree coverage. Get out there and explore.
6. Take in the scenery. This is probably the easiest tip of all to follow — enjoy the natural beauty! Lace up those shoes and get outside somewhere new. The benefits of exercising outdoors are endless!
Which season do you prefer for running?