Seven Reasons to get Excited About Fall Running

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.