Fall Running: How to Dress for the Weather
Running during the autumn season can be ideal, depending, of course, on where you live. If you live in an area where the leaves change and the temperature is cool, but not too cold, there are a few key reasons why fall weather can be a runner’s best friend! Here’s why you should lace up and run this fall:
- Temperature. The air becomes dryer and slightly cooler as the season progresses, resulting in more comfortable running conditions, regardless of what time of day you set out.
- The view. If you are in an area where the seasons have an obvious evolution, you’re in for a show. Fall colors pop from September all the way into late November depending on your geography.
- Seasonal runs. From Halloween runs to Turkey Trots, the fun runs are abundant this time of year, so suit up and have fun!
On the runs where you aren’t in costume, there are preparations to made and gear to pull out or purchase for the changing weather. Fall is a time where some days can still be hot and uncomfortable while still dipping below freezing at night. You can go out on a run before sunrise and be chilly then within a few hours be in 80 degree heat. To be prepared for this unpredictable season, you have to plan. Here are some tips on how to dress for the season of changes.
Keep in mind things like how long you will be running, how much you sweat, and what time of day you’ll be running. You’ll want to be sure to think through your planned run before suiting up and getting out there. You might find that you either over or under dressed. Investing in layers allow you to transition through the season smartly.
Invest in moisture-wicking clothing
Sweat wicking apparel takes the moisture away from your skin and keeps you from getting a chill. If you’re wearing non-sweat wicking clothing, you can get colder and clammy faster which makes for an uncomfortable run. Make sure that your first layer (sports bra, underwear, tank) will wick away your sweat too.
Invest in “in-between” clothing
This season is perfect for things like capris with short sleeved shirts or lighter long sleeved shirts with shorts. This gives you coverage against any cool winds that may blow your way, but still are easy to roll up and give you some relief as it warms up. Running vests can come in handy for this time of year, keeping your trunk warm but allowing you the freedom to have your arms be less covered up. They also allow you to zip or unzip, giving you another temperature control option.
Consider clothes that can convert
Ear bands or Buffs that you can take off and wear around your wrist as a sweat band will help you wick away sweat if needed or keep you warm if it’s windy. Pants that are easy to roll up if it heats up give you a little room for weather judgement error. A light windbreaker jacket will help shield you from the elements without giving you too much bulk or weight to carry around. Look for items that are efficient in their design, but not more than what you need.
Invest in bright clothing
It will be darker longer, including during prime running hours (morning and evening) and you don’t want to blend in. Invest in brighter clothing during the season to ensure you are visible to cars, cyclist and anyone in your path. Reflective gear is handy this time of year and heading into winter. Some running shoes have reflective colors for safety already. But just make sure to have something on that allows you to stay visible, especially to cars and other vehicles.
Try out leg/arm sleeves
Many people forget about thes options. Arm sleeves can be worn down on your forearms or up to your biceps while leg warms cover the lower half of your leg (calf area). If you’re unsure of how you’ll feel during a run, try them out and adjust as needed to regulate your body temp on the fly.
If you’re not an headband/Buff person, invest in a beanie or a skull cap. They can help you keep body heat in and easily be stuffed into a pocket if you get to warm. This simple piece of clothing can do a lot on a cold day but is small enough to not cause too much of a hassle to carry when the weather gets warmer while on a run.
Invest in a great hoodie
A hoodie can do a lot for your run. It can shield you from the rain (or in some cases, fall snow) that may be coming your way this season. It will also provide warmth during those extra chilly fall days. Many have thumb holes ensuring you have a bit of hand protection, and you can always roll up the sleeves if the heat becomes too much. They can also come in many different materials from moisture wicking to insulated, depending on your needs. Just ensure you’re choosing the correct one for your climate. Some also already come with reflective details for those of you hitting the roads in the darker hours of fall.
The key to fall running is to plan out clothing that is versatile. Investing in pieces that are adjustable and self-regulating make a huge difference during these months. Remember that the weather can change by the hour, so planning ahead, knowing what is predicted for your upcoming run, and dressing accordingly will ensure you aren’t uncomfortable as you’re pounding the pavement this season.