It's easy to bolt out the front door when the sun is shining and a warm breeze wafts the scent of fresh flowers your way. Unfortunately, this picture-perfect weather can't last forever. As quickly as leaves begin to turn and fall from the branches, temps also begin to drop. If you intend to keep up your outdoor runs, you can't let Fall's chilly days keep you away. Here are some ways to ensure your morning runs keep happening.
- Go shopping! Running shorts and a tank just won't cut it when temps dip into the 40s. If you don't have some warmer gear, then it's time to head to the store. A lightweight long-sleeved shirt is a must; look for one that you can easily slip off and tie around your waist if you begin to get too hot. You'll also need leggings and socks that cover your ankles, and on chilly mornings, a light pair of running mittens feels especially cozy. Be careful not to overdo it — you're not heading into arctic temps here. Wearing too much will have you sweating buckets, which can actually make you feel colder. You'll know you're wearing the right amount of clothes when you step outside and feel slightly chilled. Once you start running, you'll quickly warm up.
- Beat the darkness: Lack of light in the Fall is a huge motivation-crasher for early-morning runners. Since you don't have the power of the bright sun getting you psyched to go outside, you'll have to find other ways to get inspired. Blast your favorite cardio tunes while getting dressed, turn on a bunch of lights to help wake up your brain, and read some of the motivational quotes posted on your bathroom mirror.
- Prep the night before: Even if you're not slipping your running sneakers on first thing, prepping the night before will bring you that much closer to actually running. Aside from saving you the time and frustration of a scavenger hunt for your favorite wicking sock, it's impossible to walk by an entire outfit that you laid out without either slipping it on or grabbing it to use later.
- Warm up indoors: Once you're completely dressed and ready to go, instead of heading into the cold weather for your warmup, do yours inside. Breathe through five Sun Salutations, run up and down your stairs, do some Mountain Climbers, or try this five-move warmup.
- Have a warm breakfast to come home to: As humans, we can't help but feel motivated by rewards, and there's nothing wrong with bribing yourself to run with the promise of a deliciously warm and toasty meal after a hot shower. These are powerful thoughts that'll not only get you out the door, but will also keep you going strong for the entire run. You'll keep thinking, "The faster I run, the quicker I'll be cupping a warm bowl of pumpkin pie oatmeal."
- Use the power of a friend: When you find it impossible to motivate on your own, making a running date with a friend will keep you honest. You'll feel too bad leaving them to run in the cold all alone, and once you start chatting it up, you'll forget all about how cold you feel (just ignore your misty breath if you can see it!).