Can you believe it’s September already? Fall is on its way and, with it, a whole new world for runners. Sometimes Fall seems to creep up on us and all of a sudden, it’s darker and colder and we’re a little under-prepared. So, we’ve put together a little list of Fall running gear to make the transition a little easier.
‘Non-committal’ Clothing and Layers
Fall brings cold mornings that quickly turn to warm afternoons and just as quickly turn into cold evenings. This makes it almost impossible to leave the house in an outfit that will suit your needs on a long run. This is a great time for ‘non-committal clothing’, aka clothing that can keep you warm but also has features to let air in or help you easily remove it as you heat up. Half-zip pullovers, windbreakers, tights with calf zippers and lightweight tear-away pants are awesome options for Fall running layers.
Start by dressing as if it’s 20 degrees warmer and you’re going to a soccer game. This is a good gauge for your base layer, the layer you’ll be in when you’re warmed up and the weather is nice. Then, add another layer that you would be comfortable in if you were going on a short, slow walk in the current temperature. Make sure it’s easy to remove or has zippers to let more air in as you warm up. Always check the temperature to see if you might need rain gear or a heavier layer. And voila! You’re dressed for the perfect Fall running adventure.
As the days get cooler, it’s easy to forget how much water you need to drink during and after your runs. We’ve gotten used to the summer months when it’s hot and our bodies basically scream for water. In cooler weather, you may not feel the need to drink as soon or as often as in the summer. This leads many runners to drink too little water and end up dealing with symptoms of dehydration after their run. Bring a hydration belt and decide how often you’ll take a drink, especially on long runs.
Have you ever been on a run and not noticed that your ears were cold until they started to hurt? It’s not fun and can really mess with your run. On days when it’s too warm for a full hat, having a thick headband to cover your ears can really make a difference.
During the long days of summer, it’s easy to take visibility for granted. You can run early in the morning or late in the evening without having to worry about reflective gear. Things are different now. Don’t assume drivers will be able to see you on the side of the road. Wear bright colors, a reflective vest or a blinking arm band. Anything to make sure you’re visible and safe.
Race Bib Tape
Of course we had to add this one! One of the hard parts of races in cooler weather is figuring out where to put your bib so it’s visible no matter what layer you’re wearing. There’s no way you’re moving those safety pins around mid-race! Here’s an awesome solution… Add an extra piece of race bib tape to your bib with the backing still on. This way, you can move your bib when you strip off your top layer mid-race. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that there’s extra, unadulterated stickiness waiting for you.
There you have it. Time to lace up those shoes and get ready for that Fall race!