Running outdoors is good for the body and spirit, but running the same route over and over again isn’t. If you become too familiar with the same route, you may get bored or the challenge may diminish.
Changing up your route will help you continue to challenge yourself since different terrains will work different muscles in your legs. The new scenery may also help you renew your love for running. Since Buick and MapMyFitness are partnering to host the “Runs Worth The Drive Challenge,” perhaps now is the time to change things up.
Here are seven things to take into consideration when planning a new running route:
- Familiarize yourself with the new route by driving or walking the route first. This will help you understand the turns, the bends and the amount of traffic to expect. Routes will differ from day to night, so plan and view the route at the same time you plan to run.
- Use an app like MapMyFitness to get an accurate sense of the distance as well as physical sense of the route (gravel, asphalt, terrain or mix of all three).
- Wear proper footwear. It is critical to wear footwear that will fit the needs of your running style as well as your route. It can make or break the run for you.
- Hydrate appropriately. An app like MapMyFitness shows you water stops and based on your age, weight, and height will calibrate the amount of water you need to drink to keep optimal performance. A source for hydration (a pack, a belt, etc.) is also a good option.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. If you are running with headphones on, turn down the volume or take them out, as you are getting familiar. You’ll be able to hear people or bikes coming from behind.
- Bring along the essentials. Here’s a few things you will need:
- Phone – a communication device is vital.
- Runner’s ID – or some form of ID – is always good to have on you.
- Sunscreen and bug repellant – protect yourself from the sun and bugs.
- Eyewear – protect your eyes, especially if your route will have you facing the sun.
Jordan Lauterstein is with Good Sports Outdoor Outfitters, a family-run sporting goods store in San Antonio, Texas. Good Sports, established in 1982, has been serving the outdoors and adventure community for 32 years.