Ah, the fall racing season is upon us. So whether that means you are signed up the local turkey trot and jingle bell 5K or training for a fall half or winter full marathon, it is undoubtedly the most wonderful time of year for runners. The cooler temperatures and crisp air gives us a burst of energy that seems to magically increase our speed and endurance after suffering through those long hot summer runs.
If you've been training this summer, it's about that time for some wardrobe changes to accommodate the dropping temperatures and the latest gear and technology to give us that edge (even it's all only in our heads).
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I am a big proponent of shopping local. Buy those new shoes from your local running stores to help support the families and businesses in your community. Give back to the little guy. Comparison shop and read reviews online but go into your local store to get unmatched service and individual attention.
If you've been running in your shoes all summer, depending on your weekly mileage and your usual running surface, it may be time to replace. Everyone is different, but running shoes usually need to be replaced every 500 miles or so. If you look at the bottoms and the tread is worn down and inside the insoles are smashed in, it may be time for a new pair of kicks.
Remember to never wear anything new on race day, so if you do decided it's time for a new pair of running shoes, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to break them in before your big event. I love my New Balance shoes for distance running, but go into your local store so they can help fit you with the right shoe for your individual needs.
Whether you wear compression socks during your race as a fashion statement, good luck charm (like me) or after your race to hug your calves as they are propped up on the couch for recovery, compression socks or sleeves are a staple in any runner's wardrobe. You can go wild with the patterns and colors, but the science is still out whether compressions socks offer any significant benefit, except when the runner believes it does. Go figure. ProCompression has consistently high-quality socks and sleeves with fun and funky colors.
Friends don't let friends wear cotton socks. Cotton absorbs water (aka sweat) which can cause damp feet, rubbing and blisters. It's the last thing you need while running a race. I was recently introduced to wool socks and I am hooked. They are not just for winter either, wool keeps you cool as well. Weird, I know.
Tops and Tights
The rule of thumb is to dress for 10-20 degrees warmer than the current temperature because once you start running, you will warm up considerably. Ideally you would dress in layers. Running tights, a long sleeve synthetic (aka not cotton) base layer, a warmer zip up on top and if it's really cold, a third layer. It's usually better to underdress than overdress, unless you are willing to leave a layer of clothing on the side of the road.
Unless your running tights have deep pockets, you're probably going to need some place to hold your belongings. You may need to take a selfie or call for a ride mid-run so having your phone and ID on you at all times is best. Once I tied my car key to my shoelaces and my shoe came untied on the trail. Ugh. That's a story for another blog. Now I'm much smarter and use a running belt to hold my belongings when I run. The FlipBelt is my BRF (Best running friend) and this color makes my emoji have hearts for eyes.
While a GPS watch is not a necessity it is definitely a nice-to-have piece of running gear for the serious runner. These days the GPS on your phone running app is pretty reliable, but if you are obsessed..I mean, if you like to crunch the numbers of miles, paces, heart-rate, etc then a GPS watch is the way to go. This is the one I use, you can see it prominently displayed on my Instagram feed.
Are you ready for fall and the cooler running conditions? Are you geared up for all your fall races? What do you have on the schedule for the rest of this year? Did I miss any of your favorite gear?
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