As temperatures cool, running can be even more fun if you follow these tips.

5 Fall Season Running Tips

No one has to tell you that autumn is on the way. No matter where you live, the days are getting shorter, the leaves are beginning to turn, temperatures are dropping, and in some areas the first frost or even snow has already dusted the ground. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up running or walking outdoors. Here’s how to stay safe and comfortable as the seasons change.

Vary Your Routine

Fall is many runners’ favorite season for good reason. Cooler temperatures allow you to up your game. And meanwhile the crowds disperse, leaving the trails and tracks to the hardier runners, hikers and walkers. Use this season to explore new parks and routes. And don’t forget to notice the changing colors.

Prevent Slipping

Check the tread on your running or walking shoes – is it holding up? Older shoes may wear down, leaving you vulnerable to slipping on soggy leaves. If you need new shoes, check out these tips for choosing the right shoes.

Pick Up Your Pace

Cooler temps make it easier to turn up the heat on your running or walking routine. After warming up, run slightly faster for five to 10 steps, then jog slowly for 10 steps. Repeat this four or five times, running slightly faster each time until you’re really sprinting. Finish with three to five minutes of walking to cool down.

Check Your Visibility

With the shortening days, you’re more likely to be running or walking at dawn or dusk. There are many ways to increase your visibility with clothing, accessories, and tools. Here’s a gear guide to help you see and be seen.

Melanie Haiken writes about health, wellness and fitness for national magazines and websites. She specializes in discovering and reporting the latest research on diet, nutrition, fitness, weight loss and other health-related topics. Her award-winning stories have appeared in Fitness, Shape, Health, Forbes, and other respected magazines. She also contributes health stories to numerous Kaiser Permanente newsletters and other publications.