Heat, We Don't Miss You1 of 7
When it comes to temperature, fall running can't be beat. After months of heat and humidity, your legs will have some extra pep in them on those first crisp days. And since it's a little cooler, you'll no longer become drenched in sweat three steps into the first mile. In fact, breaking a sweat might actually warm you up a bit. The shorts can stay on for a little while longer, but the fall season means you can trade in your running tank tops for cozy, long-sleeve shirts and zip-ups.
Can't-Beat Scenery2 of 7
Summer sunrises and winter snowfalls are beautiful, but who doesn't love a run amongst the fall foliage? Find your favorite country road and relish the vibrant scenery as you tick off the miles. Autumn is also the time of apple-laden trees, pumpkin patches and brilliant blue skies. As the leaves crunch underfoot and you catch the scent of a bonfire, slow down and appreciate the benefits of the season.
Forage for Fall Foods3 of 7
After 3 months of graduation parties, barbecues and ice cream splurges, fall is the time to clean up your eating. Take advantage of the fact that your kitchen is no longer 99 degrees and experiment with new recipes. Visit the farmer's market and find new ways to use fall's produce: add some pumpkin to your turkey chili, pair baked apples with your oatmeal, or make some soup in your slow cooker. And so what if you happen to go a little overboard with the Halloween candy or pumpkin pie? Think of it as extra carbs to fuel you through a long run.
Back on Track4 of 7
Between beach vacations and road trips, summer may not have been the best time to stick to a running schedule. But now that the kids (or you) are back in school and summer is over, it's the perfect time to return to a healthy routine. Make a plan to log pre-work miles a few times a week or commit to a Saturday long run with a buddy.
Plan and Train5 of 7
Whether you want to run a full marathon or a 5K turkey trot, autumn is the best time of year to find a goal race. If you've been running regularly, there's still time to train for a late autumn half or full marathon. And if your summer was more about lounging than logging miles, look into some local Halloween- or Thanksgiving-themed races. Putting an event on your calendar (and paying the registration fee) might be all the motivation you need to fit in your daily workout.
Running Buddies6 of 7
Many local running groups become more active as autumn approaches. Ask around at your local YMCA or running store to see if there are any training groups that you can join. Since fall is such a popular time to train for a marathon, a lot of areas have groups that do long runs together. Now's the time to find a reliable running buddy who will keep you accountable well after winter's first flakes begin to fall.