Posted Kara Deschenes on 9/15/2015 |Featured Columns & Series
As sweltering summer temps melt into fall’s perfect beauty, there’s no better time to take your run outdoors. Consider using these six tips to get the most out of your experience.
Go longer and faster
As the weather starts to cool runners may notice distances and effort feel a little easier compared to hot summer months. This is because running in steamy conditions causes your heart to work harder in order to keep your core temperature at bay. Since the outside temp is lower you won’t heat up as quickly, saving your heart from exerting extra energy to keep you cool. Take advantage of the bonus by extending your run to a longer distance or amping up your speed. Just make sure to increase mileage safely by only adding 10% to your total miles per week.
Hit the trails
Rich colors decorate Mother Nature during the fall, making trails every runner’s playground. Take your run off-road and feast your eyes on the gorgeous sights. You’ll be so enthralled with the beauty that the miles will tick away before you even know it!
Plan for daylight savings
With summer fading into fall, so do the long days of sunshine. Make sure to plan accordingly by either squeezing in a run before the day gets going or prioritizing it after work/school. If you have to head out after dark, don’t forget to wear reflective clothing and bring a safety light.
Protect your skin
It’s easy to equate a sweaty run with the scorching sun, but even chilly temps expose runners to the sun’s harmful rays. Don’t be fooled by the cooler air by slathering on sunscreen before trekking out the door. Make sure to use a lotion that screens out sneaky UVA and UVB rays for the best protection!
A good rule of thumb is to plan your running attire to be a comfortable 10 degrees warmer than the current outside temp. While you may be chilly at the start, once your heart rate beats faster, your body temperature will also rise. The trick is to run in layers that can easily be taken off, if needed. Try a light base-layer (think short-sleeve made from wicking material) and then add a long sleeve or light jacket. Once you warm up, tie the extra apparel around your waist for easy transportation.
Along the same thinking as sunscreen, cooler temps tend to be deceptive when considering hydration needs. Even with more comfortable conditions, it’s important to drink enough fluids before, during and after a run. Even though you might not be sweating as much as you did during the summer, you still need to replenish your body’s lost fluid. Monitor the color of your urine to determine if you’re drinking enough. Aim for a lemonade-like color and adjust your drinking accordingly.
With the Girls on the Run season kicking off full steam ahead, you’ll want to make sure you’re run-ready for the fall. Use these easy tips and take advantage of perfect run conditions!