Are you bored with the same running route each day? Feeling the need to shake things up? Or have just moved to a new home and not sure where to run?
It’s time to get into your running gear and explore because running is probably the best way to see your hood! It is faster than walking, you can go a fair distance in a reasonable amount of time, you can stop anytime to look around or just look and run, and you can go places a bike can’t, like stairs or a shortcut along a canal.
But like any intrepid explorer you will need a map. Luckily technology has improved in leaps and bounds and we don’t have to worry about falling of the edge of the earth. There are so many mapping apps and programs available that it is hard to keep track of them all. I use Google Maps, Citymapper, Strava, and Movescount (for Suunto watches). But all of them are good for purpose.
First thing is find where you are going to start your run. It could be your home, work, or a hotel in a new city.
Then decide what you want to see along with your run. Use the maps to look for tourist attractions nearby, parks, rivers, or that great looking neighborhood that you saw from the bus the other day. Many mapping programs will give you the shortest distance by walking there. Remember to double the distance, if it’s a loop run, and add some more for a good explore. If the distance is too short, the fun starts, as you now start adding “long”cuts. By going down quiet roads away from the main routes, you can have more pleasant running, and your lungs will be happier. You will also start discovering little treasures of running paradise. Places that seem to be for you, and you alone!
The next level up is using running heat maps. Heat maps is where all logged runs are aggregated into wickedly cool maps where the density of the runners’ routes is shown by brighter lines on a dark map. I use Movescount and Strava for these but Garmin, Nike and others also have heat maps. Look for routes nearby and start with the brighter ones, but as with all things exploring, the fun comes as you go further off the beaten path. Make sure to set the heat maps to running as cycling is often the default setting.
Once you are comfortable exploring while running, start creating fun routes. I have one starting from my front door where I string 15 embassies into a 12km run. It’s totally pointless, and that’s the point!
Each weekend go for a run in a new part of Singapore. The island might be small but perfect for running. Hint- there are over 300km of Park Connectors, try to run them all.
You will become more aware of your surroundings and have more fun doing it, and running will never be boring again.