Guide to Fall Running

Updated: Jul 2, 2021

We are lucky enough to be living in one of the best areas of the country for fall conditions. The beautiful colors enhance the scenery for all outdoor activity as we lead into winter. For me personally, summer is my favorite time of year, I love the heat, but my lungs do not always agree. With the temp decrease, the humidity goes with it making it much easier to run.

Fall also is the end of the regular race season where we are running at our best after months of training. The fall is where I like to finish out my race season, with a late October race and I can, instead of worrying about mileage and pace goals, I can enjoy my time outdoors and really just get lost in the run and can work on cross training to begin the conditioning period of my training for the following race season.

Though fall is one of the best times of year to run, there are some key things to keep in mind:


Wear what you feel most comfortable in. I tend to wear shorts and a tee when it's around 50-60 degrees and am comfortable. Depending if there is a breeze, precipitation, etc I'll add a windbreaker, long sleeve shirt and/or wear leggings.

It’s up to you though, if you tend to get warm easily, layer down, or wear a “throw away” long sleeve shirt. When running your body temperature increases 10 degrees. Just remember to pack sweat pants, sweatshirt, and/or extra clothes to change into after your run so you don't catch a chill from your sweat.


Trail safety is a big call out. With leaves on the ground, rocks, roots, etc are easily hidden.


The days are getting shorter and shorter, so sunlight will become a bit of a concern if you are running early in the morning or late in the afternoon. If you will be running on trails when it is dark, make sure you have a headlamp to light up the trail in front of you. A headlamp is also a good idea if you are running poorly lit roads. Also ensure you are wearing light, reflective clothing so that others can see you.


Be very careful of bears right now, they are extremely active in our area as they are prepping for their winter hibernation. This post by Runner's World is a great read for anyone to brush up on what to do if you run into any wildlife while running.

Always make sure someone knows that you are running. Ensure they have the key info: where are you running, what time (starting and planned end time), and with who. If you are able to share your location with a trusted person, do so! This will keep your mind at ease and others too!

Recommended local places to run for fall: Hacklebarney State Park (Chester), Jockey Hollow (

Morristown), and Loantaka Brook Reservation (Morristown). Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.

Local Fall Races: Morristown Halloween Half Marathon (10/27 Morristown, NJ), Donut Chase 5K (10/27 Roxbury, NJ), Giralda Farms 5K/10K (11/10 Madison, NJ), Action for Distraction Trail 5K (10/19 Morris Plains, NJ), Run for Rwanda 5K (10/19 Parsippany, NJ), and 12th Annual West Morris Central Memorial Turkey Trot 5K (11/28 West Morris, NJ)

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