Fall is upon us, which means cooler temps and lots of leaves to crunch under our running shoes. It also means some pretty awesome races are coming up. To get ready for them, I thought I’d compile a list of tips for running in the fall:

1. Layer up.

When I leave my apartment for a morning run, it’s chilly, so I want long sleeves. Halfway through, as the sun rises, I start to get warmer. Darn wish I would’ve worn some nice, light layers. Good thing I’m telling you now, right?

2. Watch your step.

I know I just mentioned the crunchy, fun leaves on the ground, but those beauties could be covering roots, holes, and other dangers to your precious feet. Also, wet leaves can be slippery, so be extra careful.

3. Slather on sunscreen.

Don’t put that sunscreen away just yet (or ever, for that matter). Although the sun’s rays may be less intense this time of year, they still send plenty of UV rays your way. Once snow touches down, the rays will reflect off of that powdery goodness directly onto your skin. Better safe than sorry.

4. Wear reflective gear.

With fewer daylight hours, it’s even more important to keep running safety in the forefront of your mind. Make sure cars can see you, especially if bad conditions have eliminated the sidewalk as an option and sent you onto the road.

5. Still drink water.

Because it’s not as hot outside, you might not feel as though you need to drink as much water as you did during the summer. Wrong. Don’t let the lack of heat and humidity fool you. Staying hydrated before, during, and after a run is still important and shouldn’t fall to the wayside.

6. Enjoy it!

No matter what part of the country you’re running in, chances are you’ve got a pretty spectacular view. Soak it in. Use those fall colors are a reminder of why you love running in the first place.

By Nichols