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:
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!|
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|
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.
|From a recent race in the rain|
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?|
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.
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!!