The Season That XC Runners Love

The summer has officially past us and now Autumn rolls in with it’s cooler air, natural light without the sweltering hot temperatures, and shorter days. This can only signal one thing… It’s officially the start of cross-country season! Not only does this season bring out more beautiful scenery due to fall foliage, it delivers the most optimal temperatures and weather conditions. There are numerous themed road races to participate in and based on my experiences, trail running has never been more popular. The sights and smells of this season are incredible for runners. Whether your running in a road race, blazing new paths on a trailrun, or even going out for a mid afternoon run with friends, this is the season to get outdoors and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer.

When prepping for fall running there is one thing that always crosses my mind and that’s attire. Somewhere between taking that first step outside feeling the cool brisk air smack me in the face and taking in a deep breath allowing the cool air to fill my lungs I start to think “did I not put enough clothes on?” Most of the time when I’m training or running with friends, I put too much on. I do however have enough layers on that I can shed during the run if needed. The key word for running in cooler temperatures is layers. The Autumn weather conditions always come with doubt when it comes to picking out what to wear that’s comfortable and what’ll keep you warm. Here are some items that I usually wear during this season:

Daily Run:

  • Lightweight jacket (Windbreaker) and / or moisture wicking T-shirt
  • Shorts or compression pants (depending on the pace)

or

  • Long sleeve moisture wicking T-shirt
  • Shorts or compression pants (depending on the pace)

Racing:

  • Wicking T-shirt
  • Shorts
  • Jacket and sweatpants for before and after race

*Remember, cotton is rotten. Be smart about the clothing you wear for running and go with what’s comfortable for your needs*

 

The Fall season also marks cross-country racing season. I realize that some races have already started, but this is the time where it starts to really ramp up. For the past few weeks my inbox has flooded with dates of races from Halloween themed to turkey trots to even the great pumpkin run where you run a 5k with a pumpkin. When deciding on which races you want to run this fall, it’s always good to check the location, dates and theme if there is one. Not all races tend to revolve around holidays like Thanksgiving and Halloween where runners dress up. Don’t get me wrong, turkey trots through corn fields on a farm and costumed themed races like the Witches & Zombies Brew Ha Ha 5k sound like tons of fun! There are some races like Run the Vineyards or the Great Pumpkin Run that have other elements of the fall season and are just as fun! I like picking out races that are mainly trail runs off the road because it gives me a chance to see nature at it’s finest. Sure, dodging tree roots and climbing some steep and slippery inclines are tough, but the views are perfect. Some races are held in state parks that utilize the season to enhance the experience of the race like the 15th Annual Autumn Breeze 5K. The amount of 5k, 10, half and full marathons for the fall season are endless and we’re in the prime time for the registration periods. Be sure to look at your local listings to check out the registration deadlines. If you find a race that seems fun, join in! Who knows, you may even get a “free” pumpkin out of it. Feel free to comment below with any additional races that you have run or plan to run this fall. I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting races.

 

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