How I Plan My Running Routes

When I started running two years ago, I was only running up to 3 miles. I somehow figured out a 5K route in my neighborhood, and it’s the same one I still use. Now that I’m running longer distances, I have to plan out my routes beforehand.

I live in a neighborhood with a good amount of roads, most of which I’ve run already. I spent my winter running the same 4 mile loop that was half hills, so it was miserable. I’m going to try my best to explain this:

To the north of my neighborhood is a main road, so if I run out of my neighborhood I can run up that main road, and after a left turn at a four-way stop, I’m in a new area that’s connected to another main road and has a bunch of side roads. To the south is also a main road, and at that four-way stop, I can run either way—left or right—and there are side roads off of that main road either way.

I’ve been running the main road to the north for a while, and it is a good route. I recently started running the main road to the south for a change of scenery. I think switching it up will prevent the dread of running from occurring.

When I started running out to the new roads, I used Map My Run to figure out the mileage, which I use with any new route. I don’t use the app when I run, but I’ll log into the website to figure out the miles. Once I run the route a few times, I get used to where the half mile and mile marks are (I set up my Nike Run Club app to let me know when I reach both).

However there are often flaws to me planning out my routes. Last month I accidentally ran 7 miles because I ran up a different road than I had planned on Map My Run. This week I ran 2 miles and completely miscalculated the route and it felt like I was running forever. I’m in my 10 mile training now, and my longer runs will be on the weekends. I have a route for 7 miles, so as the mileage increases, I’ll have to find 8, 9, and 10 mile routes. And ones that don’t have a ton of hills haha.

My running (or walking) friends: are there any particular ways you plan out your routes?

7 comments

  1. Ooo wow so much thought! I literally just find a way to leave my house and walk back without having to turn around lol now I also pay attention to crossing roads where there are walking signals that automatically show walking and you don’t have to push any buttons

    Liked by 1 person

    • I also forgot about sidewalks; I always try to find roads with them, especially busier ones. I don’t mind running in the road in my neighborhood but it’s pretty quiet here. It freaks me out to run in the road on busier streets. And yes I feel ya on the automatic crosswalks; I’m not touching any buttons anytime soon haha

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How do you remember where to go without a map? I have a very poor memory when it comes to running routes – the first time I run them anyway. These days I mostly run on the treadmill or around my tiny village, but otherwise I use Movescount to find routes and I upload them to my GPS watch so I know where to go. I look forward to being able to go running further away again because running the same two routes is getting a little boring!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha I’ve lived in my neighborhood my entire life and where I run outside of it I’ve been on those roads tons of time so I’m not worried about getting lost. When I’m planning a new run, I also look up the roads on Google maps street view so I’m at least a little familiar with the area and where the sidewalks are.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “I accidentally ran 7 miles”…hate when that happens. One thing I was looking at when I was figuring out routes last year was maybe I find a short route and just do laps, so if I need to stop I’m not too far away from home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I got to like 5.5 miles on that 7 mile run, I wasn’t close to my house yet and I’m like, I have to get back somehow haha. Laps are a good option, but I think I’d get bored if I did that. One of my races last year was three laps and it was rough. I’d rather run out and back somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

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