The Ultimate Autumn Running Gear Guide
As the days get colder and darker and wetter, it can be hard to stay motivated to get out there and keep running. Not to mention worries about staying visible and slipping on wet leaves and mud, there's no doubt autumn can be a tricky time of year.
So if you don't want to retreat to the treadmill, this is everything you need to know about staying warm and dry, and outside this autumn.
Look for trainers with a GORE-Tex upper; many brands release waterproof versions of their most popular running shoes around autumn and winter.
Make sure your running shoes are made from breathable fabrics, with mesh vents on the upper to boost airflow to allow any moisture to escape your shoes, reducing your risk of blisters as well as wet, soggy feet.
Well-fitting rainers will go a long way to preventing blisters, so make sure you choose the best running shoes for you. Get your free gait analysis at your local Runners Need store. Using video technology to analyse how your feet respond to every step, our expert fitters can assess your biomechanics and running style to ensure you're running in the perfect trainers.
If you're running on trails, ensure you're wearing a proper trail running shoe rather than a road running shoe. Trail shoes are usually constructed from a no-sew, sock like, full piece upper to help protect your foot. They're also specially designed with deeper lugs and a more aggressive tread pattern to grip rugged terrain giving you more stability on slippery surfaces. They're also made from tougher stuff with hidden plates and toe protectors to help protect your feet from bruising from rocks and roots.
- BASE LAYERS - As the layer that sits closest to your skin your base layer should be seamless and free from buttons, zips, and pockets to keep it snug against your body. This sweat-wicking layer can be a vest, t-shirt, or long sleeve depending on your preference.
- Look for breathable fabrics with antibacterial properties like merino wool for long wearing.
- MID LAYERS - This layer is designed to keep you warm while continuing to keep the moisture moving away from your body.
- A good mid-layer won't make you hot, so look for mesh panels and features such as half zips to give you more temperature control.
- GLOVES - On the colder days it's easy for your fingers to get cold. Try light running gloves to keep the elements out and the warmth in
- HAT - A hat is a great way to keep your ears warm as i gets cooler. Go for technical fabrics like fleece to ensure your hat is sweat-wicking and breathable.
- If you're worried about overheating, try a headband instead to keep your ears warm while still allowing the heat to escape your head.
- HEAD TORCH - If you're running in poorly lit areas at night such as out on trails or through parks, consider a lightweight running head torch to not only safely see the route ahead but be seen by other road and trail users.
- SUN CREAM - A bit odd amongst the warm hats and head torches but if you're out running on a warm autumn day it's easy to forget that the same UV rays can still damage your skin. Ensure your sun cream or sun block protects against UVA and UVB rays as well as a high SPF.
- It also needs to be waterproof, and ideally windproof. Sweating off your sun cream is not only likely to give you stinging and watering eyes but it doesn't do your skin much good. Sport sunscreens usually contain zinc oxide to provide extra protection regardless of how much you sweat.
- Don't forget to apply it to your lips too.
- SUNGLASSES - Like your sun cream your sunglasses need UV protection. Go for sunglasses with grip on the nose to ensure they don't slide down your face.
- HYDRATION - Staying hydrated is vital, especially if you're heading out on a long run.
- From handheld water bottles to hydration belts that sit comfortably around your waist to hydration bladders there's no excuse for not taking water with you.All ergonomically designed these products are perfect whatever your distance.
- To help maintain proper hydration and balanced electrolyte levels during, and after your run, drinking diluted sports drinks or using hydration tablets will provide your body with the best combination of electrolyte replacement and rehydration to stay cool, and run easy.
- ARM BAND - If you run with your phone or with music, ensure your media band or pouch is waterproof (and sweatproof). There's nothing worse than a water logged phone after a long run in the rain.
DON'T FORGET - As the days get shorter it's important to stay visible to stay safe. High visibility is a must whether it's reflective detail on your jacket and shoes or reflective bibs and strips to flashing LED lights.
Choose the option you're most comfortable to make the most out of your autumn run.