Autumn is a pleasant month to run. The air is crisp and clean, and the crimson, gold and orange leaves add a splash of color to your routine. The chilly autumn temperatures mean dressing differently in order to stay warm enough to run for an extended period of time, however. With the proper clothing you will be able to train all fall and winter.
Dress in Layers
The goal is to stay warm without overheating, which can be difficult in chilly weather. At first, your body will be cold, but as you run you may find that you become sweaty and uncomfortable. Dressing in layers will help solve this problem.
The first layer should be a long-sleeved shirt or turtleneck made of fabric especially designed for drawing moisture away from your skin. Depending on the temperature, you many also want long underwear or tights on your legs, made from the same fabric. Avoid cotton; it traps the sweat next to your skin and makes you clammy and cold.
The next layer is for warmth. A heavy sweatshirt or fleece jacket or shell will insulate and hold body warmth in. Concentrate on keeping your core warm. As you run, you will be able to remove this layer if needed.
On top, wear a jacket made of nylon or other waterproof fabric. This top layer repels wind, rain or snow. It can also be removed if you don't need it.
Hat and Gloves
Avoid losing body heat by wearing a hat. The University of Virginia Health System notes that, "Wearing a hat is essential as up to 50% of body heat can be lost though the head." One with ear flaps will keep you even warmer, or you may find that a headband works well for you. Wear it in addition to a hat.
Gloves or mittens will keep your fingers warm and dry. Special running gloves are available in many styles, or you can wear bulkier, traditional gloves. A scarf or mask will keep your face warm in more severe weather.
Take Care of Your Body
It is always advisable to warm up and stretch when running, but in chilly weather it is even more important to get your blood circulating and keep your muscles warm.
Hydration is crucial, even in cold weather. You are probably aware of the importance of water in hot weather, but when running in the cold your hydration needs are just as great. You are still sweating during your autumn runs and still losing water. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after your run.
Food fuels your body and is even more important when running in the cold. Not only is your body expending energy while you run, but it is working to keep you warm. Eat a healthy snack before you go out.
Exercise-induced bronchospasm is more likely to occur when running in the cold. A scarf over your mouth and nose can help control this condition. Spend extra time during your warmup, and always carry your inhaler if you use one.