I don’t know about you, but Autumn is my favourite time of the year. The leaves are brown, the sky is grey, the air is crisp, and it’s time for harvest. The nights get dark quicker, and the temperature drops.
Autumn is an exciting time, and it’s also great for running which is why I have put together this article. I love running all year round, but there’s something special about lacing up for a run when the ground is covered in crunchy brown leaves and the sky is a hazy grey.
Here are 10 amazing benefits to running in Autumn
1. The temperature is just right
Like the porridge in Goldilocks and the three bears, running in Autumn is not too hot or too cold. It’s just right.
In the UK, we sometimes (if we’re lucky) have a boiling hot summer which can make running difficult. Not only is your risk of dehydration and sunburn higher, but the increased humidity and temperatures also makes running a sweaty and challenging ordeal. On the other side of the spectrum, running in early Spring or Winter can be extremely freezing and uncomfortable.
I ran the Brighton half marathon in February this year, and the temperature as we started was -1 degrees. As you can imagine, we were all shivering at the starting line practically begging for the race to start so we could warm up. Not ideal. Autumn, on the other hand, is just the right temperature for running.
It’s in the middle of hot and cold, with a UK average of around 12 degrees. With this comfortable temperature, you’ll be able to start the run without shivering, but you won’t get too hot when you get going. A great benefit of running in Autumn.
2. Your favourite routes are less busy
Summer is the peak time for tourist activity in most places. During Summer, scenic running routes are often populated by holidaymakers or visitors looking to enjoy themselves.
There’s nothing wrong with people enjoying themselves, I’m not a Grinch (I promise), but lots of people make running routes chaotic and difficult to manoeuvre. When I run in the summer, my favourite routes are local parks and trails and they are often filled with tourists. I sidestep picnics, dodge ice-cream vans, and keep a look out so I’m not in the path of a game of frisbee.
Autumn grants a break from these hectic scenes. Most probably, the routes will be less busy, and you’ll have some peace and quiet to get on with our Autumn running.
3. Autumn is a beautiful time of year
Those who love taking pictures of the environment on route (for Instagram and Facebook) know that Autumn is a photogenic season. It’s a beautiful time of year.
The leaves turn colour and fall off trees, birds (like nightingales and cuckoos) migrate to warmer climates, fruits and seeds start to produce tasty fruits, farmers harvest their food, and lots of fungi appear. It’s nature central in Autumn, and being a runner is a great way to experience this wonderful season.
Go for a run through your favourite trail to see what wonders Autumn has brought to it. Workout by the river and breath in the crisp morning air. Run through a local park and watch for birds in the sky. Stop and take a moment to get some photos, if you like. Autumn runs are wonderful memories to cherish forever.
4. Autumn has fewer distractions
If Summer is known for one thing, it’s how social of a season it is. Parties, weddings, holidays, get-togethers, night outs and festivals, all make Summer a busy and chaotic season. There’s nothing wrong with all this activity, and it’s important to enjoy ourselves and make memories with our loved ones. However, amidst all the fun it can be difficult to find time for running.
Autumn is when everyone’s social calendar tends to quieten down. The kids go back to school (or university), fewer events are on, and you have some free weekends. Something which rarely happens during the Summer.
Take advantage of the free time you have in Autumn and get your running game on.
5. Train for race season
Spring and the end of Winter is the busiest time of year for races, like marathons and half marathons. If you want to run a personal best in a race, it’s a great idea to get into training mode during Spring.
Get into the zone, focus on your game, and enjoy some proper training. Heading into the new year with a decent level of fitness will mean you’re ready to ace upcoming races and set new personal bests. It’s better to train before race season than to start training when you get to race season.
Use Autumn as a training window for race season. You’ll establish strong foundations and set yourself up for fast times.
For more information on running faster, check out the following blog post:
6. You’re more likely to run in the morning
Though some don’t mind, lots of runners prefer to run in the light rather than in the dark. For this reason, people choose to wake up early and run in the morning during the Autumn months which has a tonne of benefits.
Benefits of morning running include enhanced productivity for the day, firing up your metabolism, building discipline, enjoying peace and quiet, improved mood and sleeping better, to name a few.
When you start running in the morning instead of night during Autumn, you will see your quality of life improving and choose to become a morning runner from that point onwards.
For more information on benefits to morning running, check out the following blog post:
7. Enjoy post-run comforts like hot drinks, showers and your bed
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love post-run comforts? These are little things we enjoy doing after an exhausting run to reward our efforts. Some like eating a decent meal, whilst others might play video games to relax. When it comes to Autumn, the post-run comforts become extra special.
When it’s chilly outside, and you’ve been for a long knackering run, post-run comforts go a long way.
A lovely coffee, tea or hot chocolate, after a run in the crisp cold that Autumn can bring, will make you feel rewarded. Alternatively, hop in the shower (or the bath if you’re lucky enough to have one) and go for a hot soak to relax your muscles and increase blood flow. If your run has made you sleepy, get into your duvet and snuggle up for some sleep.
Autumn running makes our post-run comforts go a long way. One benefit that Autumn runners enjoy.
8. Autumn running is good for fashion
When the temperature starts to drop, we wear more layers to stay warm and properly insulated. This means runners can have some fun with their sporty fashion and look good whilst running.
Though Summer is fun, you’re slightly limited with what you can do fashion wise (a top, pair of shorts or bottoms and shoes). Running in Autumn means you can mix it up and experiment with more layers, with different styles of clothing.
You can get your running jacket out of its temporary Summer retirement and show it off. You want to wear a stylish long-sleeved running top, or you fancy sporting some warm earmuffs or a headband for the first time. Anything and everything goes in Autumn.
When the temperature drops in Autumn, we have more freedom to mix and match with our fashion choices. Just one reason running in Autumn is fantastic.
For more information on running jackets and shoes, check out the following blog posts:
9. Running in fancy dress is easier
Occasionally, runners have an opportunity to run in fancy dress and have some fun. Special parkruns like anniversary events or a Christmas day run, marathons and half-marathons, running to raise money for charity and special fancy dress themed events can all call for fancy dress.
Though fancy-dress running is super fun and enjoyable, it can be problematic if the weather is too hot. Running in a Power Ranger or Scooby Doo costume may be entertaining at first in the Summer, but after two miles it will become extremely hot and stuffy. Not fun, or ideal.
Because of moderate temperatures in Autumn, you will be more comfortable in your fancy dress costume and won’t suffer overheating (as is common in Summer).
For more information on fancy dress ideas, check out the following blog post:
10. Prepare for the festive season by running with Xmas songs
Everyone loves a good Christmas song. Autumn marks the beginning of the last few months of the year, and with it comes December. Commonly referred to as the festive season.
Unless your name is Ebenezer Scrooge, these festive tunes will find their way onto your running playlist somewhere along the line.
Last Christmas, Run Run Rudolph, Fairy Tale of New York, Little Drummer Boy, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Frosty The Snowman, All I Want For Christmas Is You and Driving Home For Christmas, are all great Xmas tunes to run with.
Get prepared for Christmas. Download and run with your favourite Christmas songs. It’ll get you in the Christmas mood, and excited for the season to be jolly.
If you’re thinking of running on Christmas day, but need a little convincing, check out the blog post here:
Happy Autumn running
I hope you enjoyed the article and are ready for some fun Autumn running. It’s one of the best times of the year, so make sure you run at every opportunity and enjoy yourself!
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