Whether you’re running in your neighborhood or trying to find the perfect trail, you’ll want to consider your route well in advance before heading out of the door. You’ll want to think about both the safety, scenery and potential obstacles that will be in your way. If you’re new to running then following the strategy below will help you on your way to build a successful and sustainable route.
Pick The Time of Day: When planning the route for your run, you’ll want to think about what time of the day you would like to run and how it will affect your efforts and safety.
1. Morning Runs: Morning runs will offer you the coolest part of the day, but depending on how early you start and the time of the year, you could have the same visibility as running at night.
2. Afternoon Runs: Running during the afternoon will allow warmer weather during the fall and winter as well as good visibility all year round.
3. Night Runs: Planning your route at night will make for cool weather, but visibility will be much less for you and for any oncoming traffic.
Planning the Route
1. Running Safety: Pick a route that is accessible for the time of day you want to run. You’ll want to think about traffic, the general safety of the area you are in, and, remember, running into fido when he smells you long before you see him, can quickly turn into a tense situation.
2. Running Surface: Running is hard on your joints, so if you must run on concrete or asphalt then be sure to pick a route that is relatively flat and lacking in pot holes. While you may be able to avoid most obstacles during the day, if you have limited visibility you may not see holes or debris in the road until your foot is twisted in or around them.
3. Water: Even if your just starting out, you’ll want to spend a fair amount of time on your running efforts. When walking or running you need to stay properly hydrated and should consider whether you are comfortable carrying your liquids with you or would like a route that offers you the chance to get something to drink or stop if need be.
4. Others: Take in mind how many people will be out and about when you are planning your route. If you’re more comfortable running when there are fewer people outside but still want to run during the daylight hours, then pick an area or section of your neighborhood where there are the fewest people hanging about. Running is a very personal experience, and not wanting to share your first few go’s with the neighbors is perfectly fine.
5. Bathroom Breaks: If you’re new to running then you may not have encountered the urge to go only a few minutes into your run. The intestinal tract can sometimes find the movement, particularly in the mornings, somewhat uncomfortable, and if you find yourself needing to go, then you’ll want a route that allows a pit stop or adequate privacy.
6. Level of Difficulty: Planning a good route should involve incorporating a level of difficulty to your run. Think about which hills you will want to hit, and when you will want to hit them during your run. Think of where the best turnaround point will be, and keep in mind that you’ll want a turn around point that’s not too far ahead to make getting back a pain if you’ve run out of gas.
Running should be a fun experience. With proper planning, you’ll be able to find the perfect route for your run that will maximize the comfort of your surroundings and allow you to get the most out of your efforts while remaining safe.