Fall Fitness Wishlist.

By: Jen Shoop

Image above from my running days in Central Park. I shared a photo diary documenting 200+ runs through it here.

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A stagnant heat has settled in over the D.C. area the past few days, and I’ve given myself a brief running hiatus until it breaks. I’m itching already for the first crisp fall runs of the season — I love the thin burn of the air, the crunch of leaves underfoot, the oranges and reds that collect in the trees. Last year, I listened to Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” album so many times on those autumnal runs that it’s difficult for me to divorce the lyrics from the season. I hear “Can I Ask You a Question” and think only of a particular stretch of the footpath along the C&O Canal, and “Lavender Haze” draws forth the petrichor of Rock Creek Park after an October drizzle.

This fall and winter, I’m hoping to introduce yoga to my fitness practice as well. I feel I need something to gently counterbalance the pounding of pavement I endure every other morning.

Thinking ahead, a couple of fall fitness wishlist items, but wanted to first mention that I finally bought one of these Birdie personal safety alarms you can clip onto your pouch/jacket while running. It emits a really loud alarm and strobe light if you feel uncomfortable. I generally run well-trafficked areas but there are some parts of Rock Creek Park that feel alarmingly isolated. This makes me feel a little bit better.

01. Lululemon Swiftly Tech LS Tees. Great base for cooler weather running. I like to pair these with shorts during the transitional months. I know I’ve written about this a lot, but I find Lululemon’s quality far exceeds its price point. I have leggings and tops from them dating back 10 years that are still in great condition after lots of use and poor laundering habits.

02. Tracksmith running shorts for the transitional days — I always size up in their bottoms, which I find run really small.

03. Running log. Most of us are able to track the basic stats on running watches / iPhones, but I like the added dimensions of this little log – weather, a space for notes. One thing I’ve noticed about a lot of habit formation is that creating mnemonics / mini-ceremonies around them can help. They can help mark the achievement, square off the time in your calendar, scratch the “completion desire” itch. For example, after I’m done with my run, I really like the “ceremony” of returning all my running gear (pouch, watch, earbuds) to their little bin in my closet, or leaving the appropriate items at the charging station. It feels like I’m stowing away my fitness regimen for the next day.

04. Sport & Rich Hat. Just like Hailey Bieber.

05. Vuori Sherpa Jacket. I have my eye on so many things from Vuori, mainly for post-workout / carpool / yoga / walk with friends type activities rather than running. I am eyeing this scoopneck shirt, this henley, these boyfriend joggers, and the aforementioned sherpa jacket.

06. Lululemon Wunder Under Leggings. I’ve been an Align lover for years but the color/heathering on this pair caught my eye!

07. Hair ties.

08. Dudley Stephens fleece. Love the thinness of the fleece and the cropped length of this style.

09. Shokz headphones. Many of you recommended these. Through some sort of magic/science, they enable you to hear your surroundings while also playing music. Good for road running but also — all the bikers on my path!

10. Naghedi tote. Great gym / carry everything bag.

11. Tracksmith Harrier running tee (I take my true size). This brand makes the absolute best base layers for cold weather. Their merino wool blends are the only ones I’ve tried that are not itchy and do not smell like, well, wet wool, after a run. They are thin and stretchy but wonderfully insulating. Magical piece you MUST buy if you are a runner in the cold!

12. Athleta Salutation Stash tights. So many of you have been raving about these! Where have I been?! The reputation is that they have more compression than Aligns but are highly comfortable. They have some really good fall colors! Also wanted to. mention that these remain my favorite inexpensive leggings — I own in multiple colors. These are great “beater leggings” for muddy days, rainy walks, etc. I don’t feel horrible tossing these in the laundry and dryer.

13. Outdoor Voices socks — love the colors. I generally reach for my Feetures socks, though — great compression, nice weight. Love love.

14. Brooks Thermal Hoodie — this is the item at the tip top of my list for this season. I’ve been looking for something that’s a nice warm mid or top layer or mid layer — I have good lightweight layering pieces but want something that can really keep me toasty on the chillier days, or that I can throw on over a lightweight base layer when it’s not too bad out. The fold-over hand mitts are shockingly important/effective, BTW. Also eyeing their running jacket.

15. Nike Infinity React 3 sneakers. These remain my favorite running sneakers I’ve ever worn. I’ve been talking about getting properly fitted for ages and ages — hopefully I’ll get around to that, but in the meantime, these just feel great on. Very lightweight. And this yellow color is sunshine!

16. Nike Swoosh headbands.

17. Vuori henley.

P.S. Thoughts on clipping into a running routine.

P.P.S. On cultivating creative habits.

P.P.P.S. Chores and errands are not getting in the way of life — they are part of the architecture of our days.

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