Personally, I think that running in different areas is one of the best things about running. You get to gain experience from wherever you've ran, decide which routes you prefer and enjoy scenery surrounding you. Here are some my tips and experiences from trying different running routes.
Become familiar with the route
Wherever you are running (local park, forest, field, pavement) always remember to become familiar with the route you're running. By familiar, I mean perhaps walking around the area or driving through/past the route. If this isn't possible, searching for a map online can help you. Its important to know the types of services surrounding your route just incase something was to happen which requires help, (ambulance, police etc). Also, if you wanted to run to a specific area but aren't sure if there are pavements, examining the route is a must as you don't want to end up running on the road. Sometimes when I try to tackle a new route, i'll scope out the area for any dangers or problems which I could encounter (ditches, dog poo, water, roadworks, narrow paths, areas prone to gang and trouble). Yesterday, I was in the Cross country county schools competition and before I ran I checked out the area for any dangerous, steep and muddy areas.
Time of day
If you are considering running when it's dark outside, you may want to consider where you run. For example, I went for a run at 6am last week and was planning on running through my usual forest route. I soon changed my mind when I realised how dark it was without any light source. Areas may become unsafe during the night/early hours of the morning, make sure you sum up the dangers before heading out. Running when the sun is setting can be beautiful and ideal but not if you're in an unpopulated area which gets dark quickly. You can purchase lights to wear when you run, I advise looking into buying them if you can't avoid dark areas.
You'll need a plan
I like to mix up the routes I take weekly and often change the mileage, time and training. To make sure I'm not running in the same area all the time, I created this plan. This plan is ideal for me as it is suited to my weekly Wednesday runs, if you want to copy my idea but add in sessions more often, feel free too. I hope that my plan will help improve my endurance and stop me from feeling bored when running in the same places continuously. I hope that my plan encourages you just like it has for me, it's definitely motivated me to go running when I haven't felt like it. At the top section of my plan I have the months at the top and the run type down the side, this is so I know how many runs I have until my 5k race. At the bottom, I have the number of weeks left and boxes which i'll fill in using the key once i've been for my run that week.
Working out mileage
Often when you run, you'll want to know how far you've ran or the distance of a future route. I recommend trying a site or app which helps measure your mileage. Personally, I love using the site called mapometer.com. They also have an apple and android app which is excellent for planning routes and finding out about races near you. Even if you arent into running, you can change the settings for walking and cycling. I've been using this site for about 2 years now and I haven't found a better alternative. You can also check out other people in your area's routes which I find is helpful when planning where you'll run.
I hope this post helped you to come up with a motivating running plan involving which routes you take; changing the routes you take can help prevent boredom and help you to frequently run.
A 16 year old girl, fitness enthusiast and dedicated Olympic style weightlifter. I'm determined to live a healthy lifestyle and take care of my body whilst influencing other young people to do so. I never doubt my ability to achieve something; I just change what I'm doing until I succeed.