Best Buddies Challenge: 10 Autumn Training Tips
The sweltering days of summer are behind us, and for many reasons, that’s good news for anyone like us who is training for the Best Buddies Challenge. Whether you’re cycling or running in May 2020, the autumn months are a wonderful time to get outside and embrace the crisp mornings and beautiful scenery as the leaves start to turn. Below are some tips for training that are specifically applicable to the cooler months ahead.
1. WATERPROOF YOUR RIDE/RUN. These are often rainy months, so use or invest in some rain gear that will keep you dry on your ride or run. There are breathable jackets designed specifically for this purpose. Arc’teryx, Endura, MEC, Novara, Showers Pass, Mission Workshop, 02 Cycling Rainwear, Patagonia, and Visijax are a few brands that make jackets specifically built for cycling. Remember to keep your feet dry too, especially if you’re running!
2. BE AWARE OF SLICK SURFACES. Falling leaves can make for slippery surfaces, especially on the rainy days, so take care and keep your eye on the road or sidewalks. If you’re cycling, avoid accelerating, braking or making any sudden turns on wet leaves. Consider changing to all-season tires. If you’re a runner, try to head out on surfaces that have more grip under your feet, like trails. They’re an amazing place to take in the colorful views and the unmistakable scents of the season too. You can also invest in running shoes that soles built for have a better grip.
3. WEAR LAYERS. The weather this time of year can be unpredictable, but there’s a Scandinavian expression that "there is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing". It might be freezing cold if you go out early morning, and quickly turn sunny a few hours later. Be smart and layer up so you can remove any unnecessary clothing along the way that you may have needed when you started out. Even if it’s not raining, you may want to consider a light, windproof jacket.
4. MAKE YOURSELF VISIBLE. The hours of daylight start to dwindle on both ends of the day more noticeably now, so if you’re running or cycling to or from work, before you start your day, or after dinner, you’re likely to need some hi-viz colors and reflectors or lights to stay safe. Some fitness gear has these built right in, which makes it much easier to remember.
5. WEAR GLOVES. This is especially true for cyclists. The whipping wind can numb your hands easily with your speed and positioning. Leather, merino wool, and quick-drying neoprene are all great options. You’ll thank us later.
6. JOIN A GROUP RIDE. If you’re in the Boston area, know that Best Buddies just launched a weekly Friday ride that starts and ends at the Boston Seaport for those of us participating in the Hyannis Port Best Buddies Challenge. They’ve also lined up some great rides on Columbus Day and Veteran's Day. Check out their ride schedule for details and to RSVP.
7. CHANGE YOUR ROUTE. An ordinary place can become magical when the canopy of trees above your head turns the colors of fire. Change your route often and use your run or ride to do some good oled New England leaf peeping. Different scenery helps us stay motivated and enthusiastic about training, and you might even decide to snap a few photos along the way while you have a well-deserved rest.
8. KEEP IT CLEAN. This one is more for cyclists; the grit and grime that comes with cycling on a wet road can get caught up in your chain and cause unnecessary damage to your bike that could see you visiting the repair shop if you don’t take care to keep it clean. Make sure you have mud guards in place as well, to keep yourself clean on your ride.
9. LOOK OUT FOR OBSTACLES. Along with leaves, the windy autumn weather can scatter many other natural obstacles in your pathway, from walnuts, chestnuts, and acorns to sticks and bigger branches. The fallen nuts can hurt to step on when you run, and sticks are also a tripping hazard. They can get caught up in your spokes if you’re cycling, so keep a lookout on tree-lined roads, especially in the dimmer light.
10. STAY HYDRATED. Remembering to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your training session is much easier with the hot summer sun beating down on our backs, but it’s just as important when it’s not.
We’d love to hear any additional autumn training tips you might have. Share them with us on social media at @themteamcares. You’ll find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.