Happy Autumn! This year, the calendar and the weather both seem to agree that autumn has begun! A week ago, I was outside running in shorts and tank tops, but now in the North East, the temps have dropped to the 50s during my morning runs and I've transitioned back to to leggings and layers. Fall has often been the most busy season for running races because the weather is mild and clear. Unfortunately, like many other aspects of our lives recently, racing (for the most part) has been converted to a virtual format. While I'm not opposed to this idea, the planning, pre-race jitters, camaraderie at the starting line and competition on the course can not be replicated. However, even virtual races can inspire us to set goals for ourselves and will motivate our training. If the past few months have got you down (you're not alone!), or you're out of the swing of regular exercise, now is the perfect time to jump back in! Keep in mind, the more regularly you are working out now, building the habit, will make it much more likely for you to keep it up when the holidays and winter approach. Here are some running goals to inspire your fall workouts:
Work up to a new distance
Increase your speed Tempo Runs, Track workouts, Fartlek training
Run the course of a race that won't be held in person this year (Use caution - roads will not be closed to traffic nor will their be aid stations!)
Switch up your terrain If you're a treadmill runner, run outside. If you're sick of your normal route or the track, give trail running a try.
Vary your incline Uphill running is great training for your cardiovascular system. They are sprints in disguise!
Compete with friends on the same route via apps like Strava
Sign up for a virtual race
It is an unusual year, to say the least. Having a baby last fall, I had hoped that by this time this year I'd be feeling good enough to participate in a few fall races. The good news is, I feel great! I'm not going to let the lack of in-person races slow my progress. Personally, I'll be working towards regaining my pre-pregnancy speed, with a weekly tempo run and track workout. And you? What will motivate you this fall?