Crisp days. Cooler temps. Clear skies. No humidity. The sound of leaves crunching under your feet. There's nothing better than running in the fall. When the first days of autumn roll around, athletes everywhere seem to rejoice and proclaim that it's the best season for running. Although the cooler weather is perfectly suited to training, running in the fall does present some particular hazards. Before you head out the door, be sure to take into account these five precautions to keep you safe on your next autumn run.
1. Watch Your Step
One of the best things about fall is the technicolor canopy of leaves overhead. Foliage is beautiful to look at, but it can also be dangerous when you're putting in miles on the sidewalks and streets. Leaves can be slippery, which makes for precarious footing. They can also hide other dangers, such as potholes or large cracks in the sidewalk. Be sure to keep your eyes on the road and watch where you place each step, especially when there's a wet, heavy leaf cover on the ground.
2. Be Seen
The shorter days, ushered in by the changing seasons, slowly but surely diminishes the daylight hours. So as you head out for your early morning or after work run, it's likely to be dark outside. Counteract this danger by wearing a reflective jacket or vest, blinking lights and even a headlamp to remain visible to others on the road
Once fall hits, there's a chill in the air during those early morning runs, and you're probably tempted to throw on long sleeves to stay warm. If you do, don't neglect to also wear a layer underneath. As you start moving, and the sun rises, your body will warm up, and you may want the ability to shed your top layer.
4. Protect Your Skin
Just because there are less daylight hours doesn't mean that you don't have to worry about protecting your skin against sun damage, as UV rays are harmful year-round. It's a good idea to get in the habit of applying sunscreen before your daytime runs no matter the season.
5. Drink Up
With the cooler temps, you might not feel the same urge to hydrate as you did during the summer heat, but you still need to. Maintaining proper hydration is essential for your performance. So drink up before, during and after your run.
Now that you're prepared, get out there and enjoy this perfect running weather, while it lasts.