My family is in the process of moving. And in all the madness, my husband and I have one big concern: Learning good running routines in our new neighborhood. Already we’re discovering that the terrain – though only six miles away from our last home – is much more challenging. Sidewalks, or lack thereof, are another concern. I know we’ll eventually hit our stride, but if you’re in a similar boat, here are some tips to get you started.
Look at a map
Before we did anything else, I simply pulled up a map of our new place and started drawing out loops in different mile increments. You can plot your loops out with our website or app and also see what your neighbors are running with our “Find a Route” feature.
Before we laced up to run the streets, we took a few family walks on the paths we thought might be good running route bets. By strolling, we were able to confirm some of them were going to be great or nix some from the start. What looks perfect on paper isn’t always the best in reality.
Jog it out
If you’d rather skip that step, you can head out and about – but take heed. You may discover yourself on a busy road with no sidewalks or path to speak of. It’s always good to approach first runs in new neighborhoods without pace or distance expectations. And be sure to take your phone loaded with the WalkJogRun app to map your progress (and also in case you get lost).
Drive by night
You may also want to drive around early in the morning or after dark (if you’re a night runner, like me) to make sure you have lamps to light your way. You might also be able to gauge the feeling (good or bad) of a neighborhood this way – all while observing from the safety of your car.
I also took time to find a few parks in the vicinity, as well as the high school track, for options when I don’t feel as adventurous. It’s prudent to discover parks, other water stops, and even bathrooms for hot days or emergencies.
Ask a friend
Perhaps the most helpful of all: real life interaction. Our local runners club is a fantastic resource, so my running buddies have been giving us some suggestions for how to get up and running in our new part of town.
Written by Ashley Marcin.