It’s easy to get stuck in a running route rut. Keep boredom at bay and plan a new running route.
Hey, we’re all human – and if sticking to the routes we know and love saves us a few minutes of deliberation and decision-making, chances are we’re going to go for it. Especially on cold, dark mornings.
But what happens when the same old signposts and scenery start to grate? Take it as a sign that it’s time to shake up your routine and plan a running route – and it’s a sign you need to pay attention to before your physical performance and motivation takes a nosedive.
Find your new favourite running route today with our five top tips, and we’’ll have you heading into unchartered territory in no time.
Modify an existing route
Our first tip is a super-easy way of switching things up – simply modify an existing route. So, for example, do your usual four-miler in reverse, or add a loop to the end of your normal out and back and turn it into a lollipop. It’s an instant refresh and will give you an appetite for more!
Ask other runners
Another straightforward tip – ask other runners for their favourite routes. If you’re in a running club, tap up other members for their thoughts, or perhaps post online in local community groups. Runners are usually generous types and don’t need much encouragement to share their tips and ideas – so get asking!
Use local resources
Live near a park, bike track, railway line or canal? Local resources like this make great ready-made running routes – generally, they’re away from the traffic and they’re often – although not always – well-lit. Just make sure your chosen route is safe as well as scenic. Make sure someone knows where you are and what time you’re expected back, wear bright clothing and, for strength in numbers, run with a friend or a group.
Websites and apps
For example, MapMyRun allows you to search for existing routes and create new ones for free. On Strava, the route planning functionality is more limited without a paid subscription, but you can connect with friends and local running groups and search segments. While you’re there, you can search for Great Run event groups and check out where other runners are training for inspiration.
Feeling creative? Whatever digital tool you’re using to record your runs, you can experiment with some Map Art. We’ve already mentioned lollipops, but see if you can plan yourself something a little more ambitious – maybe a figure of eight, a four leaf clover or even a star. Now all you need to do is draw with your legs!
Looking for people to connect with and routes to be inspired by? Check out the Great Run event groups on Strava and meet like-minded runners training for a Great Run near you.