Fall Running Necessities

With the exception of the south… Summer is dwindling away to fall. Time to put away all the light weight, super short, super tight clothing that we spend hours dying in as we run in the hot hot sun and humidity. Out come the longer shorts, the light weight, long sleeved shirts, and the thicker socks for warmer feet.

Again – this is with the exception of the south. It’s still 82 degrees, with 74% humidity in Jacksonville.

This is September, right?Fall is actually my favorite season, and I adore running in the fall and winter. The colder temperatures have me running faster and longer. The cool, crisp air lowers my body temperature and keeps me going. Plus – I get to wear my tights that make me look skinny, but have bell bottoms so my calves look normal and I get to wear my sock monkey fleece hat.

But the transition to cooler weather running does not mean giving up on fueling correctly. It’s a pretty well known saying: “When you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.” The thing about cooler weather is, you don’t necessarily feel thirsty when you are running. I’ve gone almost 5 miles in comfortably 60 degree weather without taking one sip of water but when I got home, into my kitchen I slammed down four cups of it.

“What’s the matter with you?” my husband would say.

“Nothing, I’m just thirsty,” I’d answer. The conversation would then go to why didn’t I carry water with me, and why did I not listen to my body. The answer was simple: I felt good, and didn’t think I needed it. But the truth is – even in cooler weather, you are sweating as you work out and that means getting dehydrated and that means dangerous things. So if you are going out to run, remember your water. It’s important!

Also – did you know that in colder temps, gels can get tough to swallow? Well, they can. And chewing a gel while trying to run is complicated, uncomfortable and could make you choke which isn’t a fun ride. I usually stash my gels in my bra top if I am going to be running a long distance in the cooler temps, or swap out gels all together. Those Honey Stinger waffle cookies are delicious and a great boost of energy. Just don’t get them confused with sweet treat waffle cookies. Those don’t do anything. The Honey Stinger ones are amazing.

With cooler weather, comes the wind too. You should always wear a sunscreen but I highly recommend wearing something specific on your lips too. I usually use Burts Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil. When I can’t grab that, nothing beats cherry chapstick (insert song lyrics here) or their new cake batter chapstick. It’s important because chapped lips hurt. Wind burned lips hurt. Cracked and peeling lips hurt. It’s no fun to kiss your sweetie when it will hurt so bad. This is good advice for any season!

In the summer I wear socks that are thin and moisture wicking in order to prevent blisters but also to keep my feet cool. There are some cool ones from Balega that I wear that are vented that keep my feet nice and cool. But as the temps drop, I want warm feet. So I get a thicker sock, also from Balega, and go with them. Fuzzy warm socks. I hear toe socks are awesome to run in too, but I haven’t tried that yet.

I run in funny hats when it’s cold outside. I have a beaver hat and a sock monkey hat. They are awesome; they are fleece on the inside and keep the sweat out of my face easily. I got them at Bed Bath and Beyond, and I plan to grabbing a few more when they come back out. (again – it’s still almost 90 degrees in Florida) and I do plan on investing in some of the headbands that cover your ears. I learned last year when I was running that while the hats are amazing, sometimes you just want to have some warm ears! They were freezing cold so often. It’s a necessity.

What are your fall running go to’s? Share them in the comments! 🙂




6 thoughts on “Fall Running Necessities

  1. Nick says:

    This will be my first fall as a runner; I started last year, on New Year’s Eve (way to jump-start a resolution, huh?) and my only concession to the weather was a nylon warm-up suit to cut the wind, and a stocking cap and cotton gloves (cold ears and fingers can really distract you!) I’m sure I have a lot more to learn (like about fuels getting chewy…eeewww!) so I am grateful for bloggers like you, sharing their experience – that’s community, yo!

    • jljohnson says:

      awww…. Thanks!! I know all of us do our best 🙂

      and yeah, the whole chewy gels are NOT fun. Stuff them in your shorts pockets or if you wear a running belt in the pocket portion that is close to your body so they can stay warm with your body heat. They are NOT good eats on runs.

  2. crimznrose681 says:

    Can’t wait to break out my long sleeve tech shirts! I run all spring/summer in tank tops (with arm sleeves on cool mornings in early spring). Fall is when I dig out the stuff that got too hot to wear once the temps rose about 50 degrees. Long sleeve tech t-shirts, soft shell wicking jackets with thumb holes in the sleeves, and trading in my capris for full length tights.

    This year I’m considering a vest too. Many of my jackets get too warm on my arms, but I get chilled on my body. A vest seems to be the perfect answer to round out my cool weather gear.

    • jljohnson says:

      I love my long sleeve tech shirts. I sometimes wear them after my long runs even in the summer when I go into air conditioning! 🙂 And the vest is a great idea. I say look at Old Navy and see if they come out with any fleece ones this year. I’ve had them before and they are great!

  3. Vincent | Runner's High says:

    I wear a big headband/earwarmer when it first gets colder to keep my ears warm, but still let heat escape. Only when it gets to the brutally cold winter temperatures will I wear a full wool hat. I also have a great warm windbreaking waterproof jacket that has removable sleeves to turn it into a vest. That makes it perfect for every situation! Btw I personally find certain gels to always be difficult to swallow, haha!

    • jljohnson says:

      I hear you on those gels. I am always looking for other options which is why I adore the waffle cookies! Such a great alternative.

      Have you washed your wool hat? Do you just wash it and then let it air dry? How does it work for you? Not that Florida gets super cold, but I gave myself bronchitis when I ran in 30 degree weather. In Florida.

      It’s bipolar. 🙂

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