Fall running tips: 5 tips to get most out of your runs

This is the second in a four-part series on exercising outdoors in the fall.

The fall is a uniquely pleasant time to get outdoors and run.
With temperatures cooled off and the changing scenery of the leaves turning colors on the trees and falling to the ground, it sets the stage for comfortable and picturesque running workouts.
Here are five tips to get the most out of your fall running experience:
1. Dress properly – Plan ahead to know the forecast and be ready for weather that changes quickly. Keep a sweatshirt and rain gear in your car if you drive somewhere to get onto a trail to start your run. Dress in layers so you can easily pull off the top shirt if you get too hot.
2. Lengthen your workouts – Add 10 minutes to your runs by starting a little earlier even if you have to run a little slower pace. This will increase your endurance level, burn more calories and let you enjoy the fall atmosphere for a little while longer.
3. Try interval training – Pick up your running pace for 30 seconds to a minute then slow it to a jog. Do this 5-10 times then walk for 2-3 minutes. Repeat the process several times.
4. Go the distance – Once a week or every other week make time to go farther on your long run. Slow the pace and walk if you need to. Getting used to longer distances will help build a strong base heading into the winter.
5. Enter a road race – There are lots of fun road races held in September, October and even November. Some of the biggest events are the Chicago Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon and New York City Marathon.
There are also lots of local 5K and 10K races if you’re into running shorter distances. Enter with a friend and you might have even more fun.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com