Coach Mike Mead

October 2012

Great Running in the Month of October

I’ve been at this running thing for quite a few years now – 40 to be exact! Gee, where has the time gone?

Anyway, if you love distance running, I believe October is the best month of the year for running. Depending where you live, the mornings gradually turn cool and crisp, making it nearly ideal for those serious mile loggers.

After months of heat and humidity, the month of October ushers in less of both conditions that physically and mentally drain a runner’s body. You might not feel it when you’re 20, but get over 50 and you feel a lot of little things.

October provides a reprieve for runners, thanks to the cooler, drier, less-humid conditions. Last month we actually had several cool mornings – more than usual -- and I almost instantly noticed a positive difference! I felt stronger on my runs. I could go longer and faster. I did not feel worn out after the runs as I did in August.

With summer transforming into autumn, October is the best time for the longer races that appeal to the die-hard distance runner. It’s not only the peak time for cross country racing, but also marathon racing. There are days where one feels like going longer than cutting back.

October provides the time of getting out and running among nature. The brilliant fall colors and the shorter days combine for provide us runners with a different perspective. Running through trails among fall leaves is hard to describe. We tend to pay a little more attention to the seasonal changes when we’re out running. We also appreciate the days knowing that colder ones are ahead!

If you are a morning runner like me, the biggest change is the lack of light. A crisp, dark, October morning has a coziness to it that is welcoming; a much different feeling than the dead of winter. It’s hard to get out of the toasty-warm bed to go out into the icy cold conditions in December or January.

October brings a change in the kinds of food we crave and eat. Whether it’s a slice of pumpkin pie, a nice crispy apple or a warm beverage with a hint of cinnamon after a long, cool run, you cannot really complain about this time of the year! If you are just getting into distance running or a die-hard runner, don’t miss out on the runs that you can experience in October.

Build for the future. Get in those October miles and they’ll carry you through the doldrums of winter. Happy trails!