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The arrival of fall brings such amazing splendor that it’s a wonder it isn’t enough to compel everyone to take a walk with Mother Nature. 

Actually, it’s the perfect time to start a running program as cooler temperatures allow you to layer your clothing as needed.  

While you absorb the experience of running through a crunching, leafy kaleidoscope of colour, you will also be improving your fitness, almost as a side perk while Nature’s gifts keep you pre-occupied.  

What better excuse do you need to lace up your shoes and soak in the leaves, shocked by cold into brilliant shades of yellow and red before floating innocuously to their bed below?

Sometimes the wind keeps them hovering like dragonflies which is a sound I’ve learned to appreciate. 

The sweet smells of fall are unmistakable and when combined with sunshine beaming onto the leaves it’s almost a sensory overload, the sense of satisfaction being so complete and for me personally there is no place on earth I would rather be.  

Yet, if you allow yourself to look a bit past the run as I do on occasion, the thought of hot pumpkin pie is also a pretty compelling reward after a fall run.  

Remember, comfort food doesn’t have to be served in extra-large portions.  

Fall has always been my favourite season since I was a child because it marked back to school with fond memories of gathering big colourful leaves for a school project. 

It also marked my introduction to cross country running, whereas I didn’t care if I got my legs caked in mud. 

The feeling of being spent after running up steep hills while carefully not tripping over roots was a sense of accomplishment that stuck with me.  

This type of challenge inspired me to continue running in my adult years.  

If anything is motivating enough to get you back into shape during the fall cross country running season, all of your senses will love you for it.

Here are some tips to get you ready for fall running:

  1. Running in the cold crisp air can be invigorating enough to allow you to run faster and not overheat.  Set goals for improved performance. Fall is the perfect start time for beginning runners.
  2. Dress for the conditions: dress in layers, wear a jacket, vest, tights, but don’t overdress because you could overheat. Check the weather conditions before heading out.
  3. Wear reflective gear to be seen by cars and cyclists.
  4. Stay hydrated even though it is colder and properly fuel your body about two hours before running.
  5. Mix up the terrain – by switching to trails and cross country can add a dose of motivation to your program if you were more acclimatized to roads and sidewalks. Afterward you can enjoy a hot cup of chocolate with a sense of accomplishment…and maybe a small slice of pumpkin pie.

Follow Christine on her Youtube at ChristineRuns or on Twitter

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