Fall training has a special place in my heart. It’s the foundation of any runner’s base miles. And while the fall is often reserved for races, it can also be the perfect season to get out there and start your long-distance training. The cooler temps make it easier to get high miles in without having to worry about those hot summer days with debilitating temperatures that slow your pace and cause you to question why you even love this sport.
It’s also easier to run longer miles without having to take as many hydration stops. And lastly, the transitioning seasons are something to enjoy in most parts of this country. There’s nothing better than a crisp run with fall leaves turning from green to shades of amber and gold. It truly is one of the best seasons to get outside. Some things to keep in mind while logging those miles.
Fall can be tricky because temps can fluctuate. I’ve found that layering is your friend — but remember, it’s okay to be a little cold initially; you’re going to warm up throughout the run. The last thing you want is to have to lug all of that gear once you’ve reached optimal temperature and start to sweat. Like summer running — it’s essential to pick fabrics that pull moisture away from your body. Stay away from the cotton of the world. I know you love them, but they weren’t meant for endurance training. Try to utilize technical fabrics or, in my case, anything with Merino Wool. After years of running, I’m just now discovering the wonders of Merino and how great it is for running attire.
This is an excellent time to start with some heart rate zone training. While not widely used and still relatively obscure in the world of endurance training. Zone Traning is gaining momentum as the perfect tool to keep from overtraining and building quality miles instead of junk miles. For years the mindset was to train hard (all the time). Now that perception is shifting to training smarter. So get yourself a smartwatch with a heart rate monitor and check out some more information on Zone Traning.
Having a running log is more important than you think. This helps you track your mileage as well as how you felt during your runs. It can even show you the onset of injuries, colds, and your all-around mental state. You can still keep your digital log (Strave, Garmin Connect, Apple Health, etc.). But having a paper log allows you to be more expressive and really think about your training. Running is more than miles. It’s a mental state as much as it’s a physical one. So be sure to check in with yourself through your journal.
Hopefully, these Fall running tips convince you that now is the time to get out there and start training. Now go log some miles!