With temperatures dropping and the shorter days drawing in, it can be tempting to cosy up at home instead of getting out for your run. But don’t let the changing of the seasons side track your training.
There are so many reasons to keep running through autumn and winter – the crisp, clean air and beautiful colours; the crunchy carpet of golden brown leaves, later sunrises and earlier sunsets – it’s a beautiful backdrop to keep your fitness ticking over.
October is the perfect time to reset your running goals to harness the ‘fresh start effect’ that the new season brings.
Follow these tips to keep your running on track this autumn and winter.
Sign up to a spring event
One of the best ways to stay motivated to run in the colder months is to register for an early spring race. This will give you a good goal to work towards and a reason to keep ticking off your training even when you’re not in the mood or the weather doesn’t play ball.
For runners eyeing up a long-distance goal, most spring marathons are from April onwards, meaning the typical 16–20-week training plans start late November into early December. Signing up to a half marathon in February or March could be a great training run and race practice for the big 26.2, or be your main goal event.
Either way, the training block for both distances is likely to start late autumn, so getting registered now is the perfect motivator to start building a base and keep you running into winter.
Get your run fix in the morning
When the early morning alarm goes off, resisting the snooze button is the hardest part, but the early runner really does catch the endorphins.
Make it easier on yourself by going to bed early enough to get a decent seven to eight hours of sleep and get up with time to hydrate and eat a quick snack before heading out the door.
Top tip: Check the weather the night before and time it right to be treated to a sunrise mid or post-run and make sure you’re running towards the sun as it rises and not away from it, for an extra endorphin boost.
Make it easy: lay your kit out
Starting and finishing the day in the pitch black is tough but don’t leave the door open for self-sabotage.
Whenever you plan to run, get your whole kit ready ahead of time (including jacket, gloves and head torch if needed). You want to be up and out with minimal stress, and get going before the excuses really have a chance to bed in.
Top tip: Stock up on autumn and winter running kit with Very to keep you warm and dry.
Turn your run into your commute
If you’re short on time and low on motivation in the colder months, why not turn your run into your commute. The key here is to get everything organised beforehand.
If you’re heading straight to work after your run, try a running rucksack with your work clothes on your back – just make sure to pack it well to minimise annoying bounce. You might be lucky enough to have shower facilities at your workplace, but if you’re coming home to shower before heading back out the door, lay out your work clothes when you get your run kit ready to keep you on track.
And if you’re working from home, plan a loop from your front door so you can ‘commute’ to your work desk and get your run fix first thing!
Stock up on autumn and winter running kit with Very to keep you warm and dry.
Mix it up: hit the trails
Road running is great but if ever there was a season to hit the trails, it’s autumn.
Mixing up your routes to include some off-road fun will keep your runs varied and interesting, with extra feel-good factor. Plus, you’ll be treated to an ever-changing show of orange, red and green, with a carpet of crunchy leaves and crisp, clean air to oxygenate those muscles.
Changing scenery and traffic-free, mindful movement – running at its best!
Dress to impress
There’s no such thing as bad weather – only the wrong kit! So, make sure you’re prepared for everything the British autumn and winter has to throw at you with breathable running kit for all conditions.
Must-have kit list for autumn/winter:
- Waterproof jacket
- Breathable base layer
- Snood / Buff for use as a headband or scarf
- Running tights or leggings
- Head torch
- Reflective clothing