Summer is great and all, but it can be a brutal month for runners due to the heat, additional road traffic from kids out of school, and loads of races. We can’t be the only ones ready for fall to be here already! It’s no secret that autumn brings some of the most gorgeous running scenes, but there are other, shall we say, “less traditional,” reasons some runners get stoked for fall running too. Do any of these strike a chord with you?
Escape the heat. You no longer have to run at 4 a.m. to avoid the heat! For many of us, fall running means temperatures cool enough to keep you comfortable on a run, but not so cold that you’re dealing with snotsicles and skin that will itch for an hour after you return and it heats back up.
Less foot traffic. As the temperatures drop, so does the attendance. The crowds thin with each falling degree. The summer casual joggers start retreating to their beds in the cold mornings, and only the most dedicated to the sport remain — with more elbow room on the sidewalks and more one-on-one time with the trees on the trails.
Time to break out the running pants. This means no more inner-thigh chaffing from running shorts riding up a half mile into a run.
Race time! Fall and spring are the best times for races—as evidenced by the large number of races offered in those seasons—due to ideal running weather conditions. It’s not too late to get signed up for something this fall, and it’s the perfect season to try out a new distance.
Halloween Candy Hangover. The more miles you put in, the more candy you can pilfer from your child’s Halloween basket—not that any of us do that—without guilt…Well, about the calories at least. Running can’t do much about the guilt you might feel when your son asks, “Where’d my last tootsie pop go?” and you simply shrug.
Catch up on your reading. There are so many great running-related books out there nowadays. Fall is the perfect time to snuggle under your covers at night and read a few pages to help stoke your motivation and encourage you to stick with it through the colder months.
Recharge. With the shorter daylight hours and the social calendar beginning to pick up as we enter the holiday months, this is as good a time as any to finally back down on your miles to rest nagging injuries (active rest, of course), or trade in a few miles for more time strengthening other muscles (ahem, core!) or increasing flexibility, so you can come out of the winter stronger, healthier, and able to touch your toes.
Fall tends to get a mixed reaction from the general population; it’s either loved or hated. Runners, however, have plenty of reasons to appreciate it.