Running in the Autumn Season

fallMost people look at New Year’s Day as the time for resolutions and new beginnings. They vow to get in shape, hit the gym more often, and attempt loftier goals such as giving more to charity or being a better parent.

However, I feel fall is a time for change. Students return to the classroom for a new school year, leaves change color and the air transforms from heat to a nice crispness. At this time, I re-evaluate my athletic goals and work toward something new, whether it’s a wintertime half marathon I’ve never completed or one I’ve done before and hope for a better finish time. Here are a few ways to feel the spirit of the season and attempt something different:

Hire a coach. I’ve used running coaches in the past, but not recently. My bank account thought it best to not put forth the money. However, fall is a good time to consider one. With the summer marathons over and many looking to head indoors for workouts, running coaches may be willing to offer you a better deal.

Look for a new race in a hot locale. When the dead of winter approaches, states with plenty of sunshine offer races in January and February. If you start training now, you’ll be completely prepared for a wintertime race and you won’t feel so guilty when the holiday treats come your way–you’ll be deep into your training.

Discover a new cross-training method. While we all love to run, your body will appreciate an exercise that utilizes other muscle groups. Because fall is a time for new beginnings, head to your local gym and test out some of the group class offerings. Cycling classes help build up leg muscles, yoga offers deep stretches to lengthen your muscles and tighten your much used core, and Zumba classes allow for a more social element–a perfect complement to running, which is often done solo.

Happy fall!