Thursday, October 19, 2017

Favorite Fall (running) Hacks


Do you like running in the fall?

A lot of runners sing the praises of fall because they welcome the cooler temps for their runs.
Myself? Not so much.

Don't get me wrong; I do enjoy fall and the cooler temps can be pleasant. The cooler temps, though, can also be unpredictable and extreme (ummm, low-40's in the morning, high-70's in the afternoon, thank you very much).

Let's not forget the shorter days also throw in another nuance...limited daylight. My early morning runs (and occasional walks) are now in 100% darkness. I'm still getting them done, but the change of seasons dictates I change a few habits for the time-being.


We all need a few tricks and creative solutions now and then, right? Coping strategies, if you will. Alas, I'll share a few of my favorite fall (running) hacks (and you can thank me later).

Here's the top five:

***Arm warmers
It's no secret I LOVE my arm warmers.They can be used in SO many temperature-related circumstances as a substitute for a long-sleeved shirt (but with the convenience/comfort of a tank or short-sleeved top when you slide them off). I have worn them for the first few miles of a race and then shed them after I felt warmed up. I have worn them under a jacket for an extra layer of warmth on my arms. I also have worn them with a tank top and kept them on for the duration of a run (or a race) because they are more comfortable than a long-sleeved top (but don't have the "underarm bulk"). Side note...you can also make your own by cutting the feet off of funky-patterned knee socks!
Arm warmers for the win!
***Fashion headbands for warmth
It's also a widely documented fact that I wear a lot of headbands, both in the warm weather and when it's cold. Granted, my winter headbands are usually made of fleece and would be pretty uncomfortable in the heat of summer, and my summer headbands are not exactly "thermal." But in the fall, when the temps are starting to feel a bit cool, the lighter weight headbands are perfect for covering my ears without adding too much bulk or warmth. On occasion, I also have layered the "summer" headbands over the fleece ones for a little more "fashion flair" when it's been cold. Did you know you could do that? The possibilities are endless....
Keeping the ears happy
***An inexpensive dry-cleaning bag to the rescue
We all have probably seen runners on a rainy morning decked out in garbage bags. The one (and only) time I attempted to run in a garbage bag was a miserable experience (Grandma's Marathon, 2015). The bag was not only terribly grandiose, but very awkward, bulky, and heavy....and no one could see my race bib. Now I use a dry-cleaning bag instead....after all, the bags are (virtually)free, they are extremely light-weight, and the race bib is clearly visible underneath. I always have a dry-cleaning bag on standby in my "race day essentials" bag (with the neck and arm holes cut out,as well as side slits near the waist so I can access my fuel belt). Trust me, it's nothing glamorous, but it gets the job done.
Image may contain: 1 person, standing, text and outdoor
From a recent race in the rain
***A reflective safety vest
This is a recent discovery. Since a lot of my miles are now happening in the dark, high visibility is key. I have a Vizi-Belt (a fuel belt of sorts that lights up) and I usually have a light source with me (like a flashlight), but sometimes it's annoying having so many accessories. I spotted a box of my son's stuff (from his job this past summer), and in the pile was a safety vest. Talk about an "a-ha moment." The vest is a light-weight mesh fabric with numerous reflective strips and it easily fits over anything I'm wearing, so I'll probably be able to use it throughout the winter when I'm layered up in puffer vests (more tips for running in the dark hours HERE).
Can you see me now?
***The magic of calf sleeves
Sometimes, full tights are just too warm (especially when it isn't yet winter), but your legs still need some coverage. Even though calf sleeves are meant for compression, they also can add a layer of warmth on a cool morning. Or, if you're not a fan of compression, you can take an inexpensive pair of knee-highs and cut off the feet...and pair the cut-off knee socks with your favorite pair of running socks. Truth be told, a few years ago, I bought a cheap pair of knee highs and cut off the feet, intending to wear them on my arms and toss them a few miles into a race....but I wound up keeping them on the entire race and have since used them several times on my arms AND on my legs.


As much as I hate seeing summer come to an end, I refuse to retreat into a (warm) corner and stay inside when the temps turn cool. These are a few tricks I have utilized in coping with the cool (though not yet cold) conditions of fall.

Are you excited for fall weather? Do any of these Fall (running) Hacks look like something you might try? Any hacks of your own?

I'm linking this with Meranda and Lacey and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0. Please join us!!

27 comments:

  1. I am totally excited for fall weather! I've worn trash bags before races and tossed them before I started but never thought to actually run in a dry cleaning bag!

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    1. I honestly cannot remember where/when I saw the dry-cleaning bag idea...but it's SO much better than a bulky garbage bag ;-)

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  2. I've used a dry cleaning bag pre-race but I can't say I've actually run in one!

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    1. I had every intention to toss the bag before I got very far in the race, but it really wasn't cumbersome (though it did get a bit warm towards the end)

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  3. I like arm warmers because they are great for staying warm during the first part of a run, but then you can easily remove them when you get warm! It's so much better than needing a throwaway top, especially for races.

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  4. The limited daylight is the only drawback for fall for me. I don't like when it starts to get dark by 5pm. I do like the cooler mornings and warmer afternoons. Of course I am excited to live in my yoga pants :) Arm warmers are a must for sure

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    1. The diminishing daylight is such a buzz kill...

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  5. I do the sock on the arms thing if I'm at a race so I don't have to worry about losing my good arm sleeves (which I think are actually baseball sleeves LOL). And my first pair of calf sleeves were also cut off socks. :) Thanks to Ragnar, I have lots of reflective options and lately I'm digging the reflective bolero from Skirt Sports.

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  6. OMG I would have never thought about using a dry cleaning bag. That is genius!

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    1. ha ha ha! The dry-cleaning bags work great!

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  7. I decided I need to wear a reflective vest for my morning runs now. It is just too dark not to.

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    1. I'm out early enough there is seldom any traffic...but it's still smart to have the proper gear regardless

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  8. The shorter days have seemed to kick in this week. The sun's angle has certainly changed. The last week of training before Vegas will be after we fall back an hour, but thankfully those distances will be short.

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    1. I've really noticed the shorter days n recent weeks...UGH.

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  9. I have a lighted high res vest, it is very important in the wee hours :)
    I do the cheap knee high trick too lol love it!!

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    1. The cheap knee-highs that I cut off (a few years ago)are still in my life because I love the funky pattern LOL

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  10. I love arm warmers. I swear we were meant to be friends. You totally get me. 😂

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  11. I'm ready for a cooler temps, but not at all for the shorter days. The dry cleaning bag is a great idea!

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    1. I'm not especially eager for the cooler temps of fall because in Iowa, they are frigid LOL

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  12. Reflective vests are always a good idea in those early pre-dawn hours. I used to be a civilian journalist with the U.S. Army and I'd have to photograph early morning command runs. I'd never get decent photos tho because of their reflective belts!

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    1. I was really surprised how much the strips "glowed" in the pic above!

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  13. I love arm warmers! Maybe I'll get to wear mine soon (fingers crossed)!

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  14. YOu go! Getting out when you can is a must do even if it means getting out there in the dark! I love calf sleeves. Another great running vest is the Xinglet.

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