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A Change in Seasons
With the changing of colors comes a need to switch things up. This is brought on by colder temperatures, less daylight, slippery/muddy trails and just a need to press reset on your outdoor activities. For outdoor athletes such as myself and my wife, Lindsay Webster, this means switching up sports and wardrobes to ensure a comfortable and safe fall and winter.
Ryan: So, Lindsay, how do you stay motivated to get outside when the days are shorter and colder?
Lindsay: I try to enjoy the summer sports that I’m still able to do. These include trail running and cycling. Every time I get out on dry trails, I tell myself “this could be my last good ride of the season, I should enjoy it”. I try to stick to trails, since you are travelling slower and thus its much warmer. This is especially true if its windy or raining. The steeper the trails, the warmer I am.
Lindsay: How do the activities you do during the summer differ during the shoulder season?Ryan: I love to go out for fat-bike rides when the ground freezes and everything is super hard and fast, but before there is snow on the ground. There are typically only a few days like this every year, so they are extra special.
Ryan: Is there a social aspect to these colder darker sessions?
Lindsay: When I worked a 9-5 job, I would try to plan more meetups with friends, since it is more enjoyable to go for nighttime “headlamp” runs with a friend, than on my own.
Lindsay: How does your volume change once the leaves start falling?
Ryan: I usually switch to a higher run volume, since the there are so many days when the trails are wet and I don’t want to ride. I really enjoy signing up for a longer running race in the fall, since I can use the fitness I’ve built all year and segue into a higher run volume to prepare for it.
Ryan: What sorts of gear are you switching to at this time of the year?
Lindsay: I prefer running in ¾ length tights, a long sleeve shirt and some thin gloves. I always dress so that I’m a little cold at the start and inevitably I’ll warm up as I go along. If it’s a particularly hard session, or really cold out, I’ll promise myself a nice warm drink or a bath after I get back home.
Lindsay: Do you have any tips for people heading into this season?
Ryan: choosing shoes that have big lugs is a good idea, since its going to get muddy and icy. Studded shoes can be a lifesaver once the ground and snow start flying as well. I prefer to train in clothing that is a mixture of wool and synthetic fibers. I typically end up getting wet, whether its from sweat or rain and the wool keeps me warm. On top of that, a thin shell and gloves goes a long way, considering how light and packable they are. Finally, don’t forget to bring your hydration and food. The cooler temps will decrease your desire to drink, but you still want to get some fluids into you on longer outings.
In general, the mercury is dropping, the leaves are dropping, but this doesn’t mean your activity levels need to be following suit. A well planned out approach to enjoyment of the transition season between summer and winter can ensure many more months of enjoyment. As I’ve always said “There’s A LOT of good riding and running to be had in the fall.”