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How to plan your running route

If you are one of the many individuals who took up running during the pandemic, you might also have found yourself sticking to the same running route near your home. For many of these people, the familiarity of this loop might be exactly where the benefit lies. After all, running a familiar route that you don’t have to think too much about can help to put you into a meditative state.

How to plan your running route

With that said, discovering new routes can be a great way to breathe new life into your running routine. It can not only allow you to find new routes that will challenge your physical fitness and to test your cardiovascular limits, it can also provide a way to reconnect with your home or to find new and exciting routes you have never come across.

Whether you are new to an area or are a seasoned veteran looking to refresh your running routine, there are many benefits to be had from finding new routes.

If you want to get the most out of your new route, however, it will inevitably require some kind of planning. While some runners might be able to just get up and run without a firm sense of where they want to end up, this might not be the best approach for every runner out there. Planning a route in advance is a great way of setting out exactly how far you want to run and to take out some of the guesswork when you finally hit the trail.

With that said, let’s take a look at some tips and tricks you can use to plan out your next running route.

Use an app

Thanks to the rise of smartphone apps, it has never been easier to plan out your route. With the help of these new technologies, we can bid farewell to the days of using a physical map to plan out a running route.

Now, with the click of a button — or, more accurately, the touch of a fingertip — you can plan out a new running route in a matter of seconds. There are a number of apps you can use to do this, each of which comes with their own positives and drawbacks.

The easiest and least expensive option is Google Maps. This free tool from Google can be used to map a simple route, with the ability to setup waypoints along the way. The main drawback is that it is less flexible than other mapping tools and tends to be better suited to urban areas.

Other trail-running specific apps might be better suited for finding slightly off the beaten track routes, however. These also often give you the option to find and share routes that have been uploaded by other users. This brings a nice social element to planning your route.

Emulate athletes

As with any activity, physical or otherwise, looking at the top performers is a great way to get ideas about how to up your own game. Many of the top athletes will have training regimens that, while maybe a bit intense for a more casual runner, will still give great insight into the best schedules. High level athletics is deeply competitive, and every competitor will be trying to eke out advantages wherever possible.

This inherent competitiveness – against others, and oneself – is why athletics commands such interest at events like the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, and is one of the most bet on group of sports at these events. A more intimate knowledge of athletes will not only help your own routine, but let you make optimal use of the best risk free bets, by increasing your chances of picking the right runner at the right time.

Think about trail safety

Another incredibly important factor to consider when planning a new route is trail safety.

What considerations you need to think about will depend on the type of route you are planning. For urban routes, the considerations might be wanting to avoid poorly lit areas, or ensuring you aren’t running in a place that will result in you being vulnerable.

In the trail-running setting, you might need to consider how safe the trails themselves are and whether you are likely to run into debris or other potentially dangerous obstacles.

Regardless of whether you are running in an urban or a rural setting, it is always important to think about safety first and to ensure you let a loved one, friend or housemate know where you are going for a run before leaving.

Consider your route time and what you might need

Although it might seem like an obvious thing to think about, considering how long your route will take to complete is incredibly important.

Having a sense of how long you think the route will take you will have an impact on what gear you will need to bring. For shorter runs of less than an hour, you will usually be okay to go without extra gear. However, once your run extends over this threshold, you might need to bring some water, energy gels, food or even a light rain jacket. As the old adage goes: fail to prepare and you should prepare to fail.

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