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Jogging in Fall: How to get or keep your routine as temps drop

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Fitness Editor
Dominic is a sports journalist and personal trainer and writes fitness articles for our magazine. He also makes free workout plans for our site.

Jogging in fall is all about pleasant temperatures, cool air, and golden yellow trees, but this crisp season can also bring grey, dreary weather. Here’s what you have to pay attention to:

Jogging in fall: The perfect time to start

The fall is the perfect season to pick up jogging. The temperatures are milder again, which is so much nicer than slogging out in high summer. At the same time, you have a few more lovely weeks before the weather gets too cold again.

So make the most of this time and start running now. Not sure where to start? Our Body Check is a great place to begin. Start by telling us your activity level, goals, and info about your body; finish with personalized recommendations for products and workouts, plus your BMI. 

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Avoid the autumn blues

By running regularly in the fall you can avoid the blues that might arrive with the season change. Running, like exercise in general, causes an increased release of happiness hormones. At the same time, it reduces stress hormones. That’s why you feel more relaxed after a good jog.

Strengthen your immune system

Putting on your running shoes not only improves your endurance and conditioning but also your immune system. The sometimes cooler, sometimes even humid temperatures of the fall, together with the physical exertion of a run, mean that your immune system already has to work harder than usual.

Just as your muscles grow to be better prepared for the next workout, your immune system prepares for the upcoming drop in temperature. Still, be careful not to overdo it during your runs, otherwise you will get sick instead of strengthening your immune system.

Running in autumn: Important tips

Keep yourself warm

In cooler temperatures, the right clothing is essential to make the run as fun as possible. It’s important that you layer up but dress neither too warm nor too cold. It’s best to find the weather a bit cool in the first 10 minutes of the run. Otherwise, it might feel too warm later and you may sweat too much or overheat.

Wear functional clothing

A disadvantage of cotton shirts and pants is that they absorb sweat and moisture. This increases the risk that your body gets chilled a bit faster, which increases your risk of getting sick.

Functional sports clothing is better at wicking away moisture and is often also water-repellent, breathable, and sometimes even equipped with warming fleece. In addition, many functional clothing features reflective material that make sure that you can be seen better in the dark.

A white woman goes jogging in fall on a paved path among the leafless trees
©praetorianphoto

Warm up at home

Because it is indeed cooler outside, it makes sense to move your warm-up inside to do a few relaxed, dynamic stretching units. Once you go outside, you can warm up with the running basics for the first 10 minutes.

Pay attention to your breathing

Even if it becomes strenuous from time to time, always pay attention to your breathing. Especially in colder temperatures, you should breathe continuously and through your nose. This way, you warm up and filter the cool air a bit.

If it is more comfortable for you, you can also exhale through the mouth. You should, however, avoid inhaling through the mouth as that can quickly lead to sore throats.

Do not listen to your inner couch potato

Make running a routine. Set fixed workout days and times. Even if it takes some effort in the beginning, after a few weeks it will be part of a new routine, and that inner slacker won’t stand a chance.

A white man and a white woman in long functional clothing jog down outdoor stairs
©dolgachov

How to stay motivated

Keep a workout log

Start writing down your personal successes after each run. How far did you go? What was your time? What was your average pace? And above all, how did you feel? Write down all this information so that you can track your progress.

Find like-minded people

Running alone is fun and quite relaxing. But we all have days of feeling unmotivated. A fixed workout buddy or a running group makes you a bit more accountable and makes it easier to get out the door on those days where you just don’t really feel like it.

Leave missed workouts in the past

Did you miss a workout and are thinking about exercising 2 days in a row instead? Don’t dwell on it. It happens from time to time. It’s not the end of the world.

If you try to make up for every training session you miss, that mountain is going to get bigger over time. You’ll put yourself under more stress than necessary and in the end leave yourself just demotivated and wanting to give up. Let it be and just steadily continue with your plan.

Summary

  • Running in autumn prepares your immune system for the winter.
  • Running helps you to unwind and avoid the autumn blues.
  • Functional clothing is especially useful when running in autumn.
  • Make it a routine.
  • If you miss a planned workout, don’t dwell on it.
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