You can do many things to prepare for morning runs in the colder months as you transition from summer into fall. The good news is that the seasonal changes are gradual, giving you enough time to prepare as the weather cools and adjust to this new workout experience.
Consider implementing these tips for transitioning into morning fall runs so that you can adapt to moving in the cooler climate.
Get the Most Out of the Cold
If you’ve ever started a workout routine involving cardiovascular fitness, you’ll know just how difficult it can be. The beginning of your training is often the most difficult part of your fitness journey, so it’s wise to plan accordingly.
When the seasons change and cooler weather is in the forecast, this is the best time of the year to turn running into a daily habit. When it’s hot out in the late spring and through the summer, it’s easy for the workout to leave you dehydrated. You have a higher risk of heat stroke or heat exhaustion in these months due to the heat.
While many run in the heat, the effects could land even the most experienced runners in urgent care if they aren’t careful. Therefore, if you are just starting your fitness journey, doing so as the weather cools is a smart choice. Make the majority of your progress in cold months to better prepare your body for those longer, hotter days the rest of the year.
Before and after each workout, you should always stretch. This preparation is equally as important as your workout itself. This step can prove crucial in protecting your body from injury.
You can harm yourself if you choose not to stretch because your muscles don’t have the opportunity to loosen enough and prepare for your workout’s intensity. Not stretching before workouts mean you’re running a higher risk for injury. If the resulting soreness or tearing is bad enough, this might demotivate you from continuing your fitness journey altogether.
Remember to stretch both your upper and lower body, as running is about more than just your legs. It’s also a good idea to incorporate breathing exercises during your stretching to prepare your lungs for the run ahead.
Make Sure To Dress Accordingly
As the seasons change, so too does the weather. Because it will get colder, you will need to prepare yourself for anything and everything that could come your way during your run. Snowstorms aren’t as likely in fall, but you could face freezing rain and lower temperatures. You’ll need certain clothes to help you avoid the effects of cold and damp weather.
To combat these conditions, it’s always smart to wear layers of clothing, like outdoor thermal wear and a running jacket. If you practice this, you’ll always stay warm and dry, making it easy to meet your fitness goals in the colder months.
Check Your Shoes
Your footwear is one thing you should never neglect to take care of when running. If you haven’t spent much time running, there are a few things to keep in mind regarding your shoes. Your foot health is paramount, but not everyone has the same foot style. You need to start by finding out what your foot shape is.
Some people have high arches, which means they need more arch support than others, whereas others have flatter feet, meaning they need shoes that support their whole foot to keep them running. Wearing the wrong type of shoe can affect the rest of your body and can play a significant role in your success and comfort. Before the running season begins, pick out running shoes specially designed for your foot type.
It’s one thing to work out to bring yourself to your fitness goals, but sometimes runners can push too hard. It’s counterproductive to overwork yourself. Instead, make small goals and adjust when running so that you don’t burn out. Another safety practice you should always keep in mind is to wear reflective clothing.
This reflective gear can help you in abnormal weather conditions like fog, sleet, snow, or even dusky night runs. If you choose to run at night, you could invest in a headlamp or other lighting tool to illuminate your path. Finally, make sure to use sidewalks wherever they are available to avoid drivers and cyclists.
Work on Sleeping Habits
Your sleep is one of the most crucial parts of your health. If you’re not getting adequate sleep at night, you run the risk of not being able to function well in the following days. Running should improve your stamina and energy overall, not drain it.
It could also be dangerous if you run out of energy while in the middle of your exercise. Your body also needs to recuperate and heal from the previous exercise you put it through—you cannot heal without rest. Therefore, you should stay on top of your sleep cycle and get the rest your body requires.
Eat Right and Hydrate
Receiving proper nourishment fuels your body. If you practice eating foods that will nourish your body, you’ll notice the health benefits that come with it. Working out and eating well provides you with the energy necessary to push harder every time you exercise and achieve your fitness goals.
While what you eat is important, hydration is the key to your success. Our body composition is primarily water. Without it, our systems will cease to function properly. When dehydrated, your body and mind can experience a variety of issues that affect your daily life, from dizziness to things as severe as organ failure.
Pushing your body further through exercise will always lead to dehydration, as body processes like sweating expel water to keep you cool. Therefore, you’ll need to consistently drink water to replace what you lose. Hydrating both before and after your run can provide the best results.
These are just a few of the many methods for transitioning into morning fall runs that you can incorporate as you prepare to run in cooler weather. It’s always much more enjoyable getting out when the weather is cool and crisp, especially for running.