A few months ago, our family moved cross-country to start a new adventure. As if moving wasn’t stressful enough, the timing of this big transition came during my peak mileage marathon training cycle. When we arrived in our new town, one of the first things I did was look for new running routes.
Since I don’t own a treadmill or belong to a gym, I do all of my running outside. Finding a running route near me was very important; I didn’t want to drive 45 minutes just to run 45 minutes. I also needed an area that was safe –, away from cars and heavy traffic – and that had a nice mix of flat and hilly terrain.
Whether you’re moving to a new area or just starting to run outdoors, you’ll need to find the right route for you. Here are some of the ways I found my new running routes:
- Use Facebook’s search tool to find local running groups in your area. You can find a variety of running groups including free or relatively inexpensive options. This introduces you not only to other runners in your area but also to new routes and trails.
- Map My Run has a feature where you can find local routes that people near you have inputted with their distance. This is great if you are looking to run a specific distance and do not want to trace the mileage before.
- Use Google and search for local trails. I searched “bike trails” and “hiking trails” near my hometown. Biking trails work especially well as they’re usually paved and flat. These searches yielded so many different options near me that I have yet to explore them all!
- Visit your local running store. These people have a wealth of knowledge about the area. They can fill you in on local races, trails and even running groups (like I mentioned above).
- Go old school and drive around a particular area you want to walk, bike or run! Driving through the neighborhood will give you a good idea of the hills, safety and traffic you will encounter.
I love to run on new trails and explore my town on foot. It is one of my favorite ways to experience physical fitness. You’ll always learn more about a place by walking and running rather than driving. Even when I’m traveling I pack my running shoes – it’s the perfect way to explore a new place and enjoy the outdoors! The hotel concierge is usually able to direct me to a good route. Wherever you find yourself, it’s always important to mix up your routine and try something new. What are some methods that you use to find a new running route?
*Rachel Steffen writes awesome articles as a paid spokesperson for Balance Bar®. We also send her delicious Balance Bar® products for free, so…best job ever? And speaking of deliciousness, check out the incredible new Balance Bites®
Always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.