Running in Autumn: What to do to Keep Motivated

Author profile image of Rob Marshall
Author: Rob Marshall
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Running a Leeds trail covered in autumn leaves. Autumn running gear and motivation.

The weather becomes a little more unpredictable as we transition from summer to autumn. That leaves you at risk of getting caught out in the elements with the wrong clothing on. And that’s a sure fire way to kill any motivation you’ve been building all summer.

No runner wants the weather – water, wind or heat – to affect their running experience in a negative way. When the weather starts to knock you off your stride you know it’s time to consider some of the basics, like what you’re wearing.

In turn this can only increase your motivation to keep running in a season that makes the summer feel like a fond memory. To start, let’s consider what your running clobber is before you even step outside. 


Running shoes. Running gear for running in Leeds in Autumn


Take the advice you got from your nan and basically repackage it. Running at the right temperature is all about LAYERING up the right way. Think of it like this… your clothing is the foundation wall to your central heating.

As a rule of thumb it’s best to start tight and snug on the skin and work your way out to an airy number. A body skin followed by a breathable tee or fleece and finished off with a light waterproof is your winner. 

Hat & Gloves

To be prepared is to be ready for that soft autumn breeze turning into a wintery frost on a morning or evening. With the sub zero weather comes more risk to your delicate extremities. With each puff of dry ice breath let’s consider if it’s time to pop on the running friendly hat and gloves? 

Running Sneaks 

As the weather shifts gears through the seasons so does the terrain and surface you run on. You don’t want to be slipping around like Bambi. Depending on the terrain you choose to run on – tarmac to trail – you’ll need the right running shoes (and fitted well too) to complement it.

With so much choice on offer by a slew of running brands we recommend you get yourself a 121 in a specialist running shop in Leeds. They’ll work out what shoe is best for you from the way you move and the type of routes you want to run.

Yet, the way you present yourself and the materials you use are only one part of your running experience. In 2020 Strava completed the largest ever motivational running study with 25,000 runners and found that the majority of respondents fell into the ‘reluctant runner’ bracket. What this means is many of you will find the perceived negatives of running outweigh the positives in your first year at it. In light of this we need the best motivational strategies to keep you going, here’s our picks.

More after this. Continue reading below ↓


Fresh Air 

Running in the summer can be a pleasurable experience when the heat isn’t too much. As you run more the body temperature rises more. And this makes sense why running on a crisp fresh autumnal day is so beneficial. It’s cool and refreshing and your temperature becomes more regulated to keep you running longer.


The counter of having less summer humidity in the air is it gets colder and heavier which in-turn forces us up the ante when we exercise the lungs. As we breathe more we sweat more. A way to manage this without getting dehydrated is to simply drink more before, during and after your run.

Don’t be fooled in Autumn – bring a drink with you!  


Autumn leaves in Leeds. Red yellow green colours. Mindfulness.

The shorter days and darker evenings can have a negative affect on our mood. Some of us are managing something called ‘seasonal affective disorder’ – a depression and low mood that is sensitive during the autumn and winter months. Aside from the endorphin boost, running gives you an opportunity to focus on the nature around you. The shades of colour on the foliage can look like a paint palette of red, yellow, orange and brown. Focus on these stunning colours and allow the thinking part of your brain to wind down. Anytime you’re pulled back just simply drink in those beautiful colours.

Take Some Time for You.

Sometimes it can be easy to be all go, and focused entirely on training and your goals. This is all very well and good if you have a balance, but sometimes we can push too hard and burn out. Remember to take some time for yourself. It is ok to have a slow day (or a few). We would also suggest grabbing a massage. This can be unbelievably beneficial for your mental health, and also have positive physical benefits!

Running Apps 

Every little movement you make is tracked these days and in a lot of ways that isn’t a great thing. But, we’re fans of back slaps and thumbs up and Strava is a platform that allows friends and family to wave you on with kudos after kudos. This run and reward element that is essentially driven by your fellow runner can be addictive in a good way, and certainly motivating!  

Run Together

Two people running through a park in Leeds. Running together.

If the digital doesn’t cut it the next best thing is the real deal. And you probably started your running journey with someone else or even a guided voice on the Couch to 5k app – take a radio voice like Jo Whiley and it’s going to get you running more. If Jo’s not available just grab a mate or join a run group because running together is better! 

Goal Setting

Setting a running goal is a SMART thing to do if running becomes something that can feel devoid of meaning. This particularly works well if you’re someone that likes to see tangible progress. When you come to setting your SMART target think… number of runs, distance, elevation (hills!), and of course time; using an event as a focus is also a motivating way to train because the finale is always on the mind. 

Do you have any other hints and tips that keep you running in autumn? Lets us know at @LeedsRunRoutes!

Author profile image of Rob Marshall
Rob Marshall

Rob is a passionate running enthusiast who has dedicated his life to exploring the running culture of England. An avid runner himself, he has helped to start a number of running and tourism websites across the UK, and has been actively involved in the running scene in England since 2017. He loves running and walking, and is always looking for new and exciting places to explore. He is always looking for new and exciting running challenges, and is determined to help make running more accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

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