Choosing the best place to run will have an enormous impact on your timing and health. I’ve been lucky enough to have run in a few places around the world. I have my favourites, but I’ve learnt quite a bit about deciding where to run. Here are a few things to consider when choosing where to run.
Personally, nothing annoys me more than having to stop when I’m on a run. Where my parents live, back on the outskirts of London, it’s perfect because there’s hardly any traffic, not many traffic lights, and plenty of routes where you don’t have to cross many busy roads.
When I lived in Sydney, and here in the centre of Seville, running can be a real pain. There are too many people about, far too many roads to cross, and lots of traffic lights to mess up your timing. In both cities, I ended up running near the river. Not only because of the views and being close to nature, but also because of the flat stretches with minimal interruptions.
When deciding on where you can go, try to find somewhere where you can run free from busy crowds, cars, and those dreaded zebra crossings. Even if it means running around a park a few times, choosing the best place to run is so important for your health and well-being.
Stay clear of pollution
Running in thick pollution can have massive effects on your health. Petrol fumes are entering your lungs, and bloodstream can be a killer. You might not notice it at first, but over time it can have detrimental effects on your body.
I used to live in Bangkok, one of the worst places in the world for pollution. Bangkok is generally a stinky place, and even where I lived on the outskirts, it was stuffy. I found a place to run in a park with a lovely lake, and there was noticeably a lot less pollution. There were a lot of other runners about, so there was a fantastic atmosphere too.
Where I live now, I can run in the countryside. Pollution is minimal, and I notice the difference compared to the centre of the city. If you have the unfortunate luck of living in a polluted place, try to find somewhere protected like a park or fest hidden from the fumes. Maybe the gym is your best option. You could also perhaps drive to a less polluted place for your running.
Close to nature
The best place I ever ran was along the beach in Mexico. I’d go barefoot and run along the beach in the early evening while it was quiet. Sprinting along the shore with mini crabs running about was pure bliss.
Also, while I was in Brazil, I had a route to both the city and beach. I loved running with the sea out in the distance. You just can’t beat it.
Whenever we go on holiday in the summer, I try to get up before my wife and kids and go for a run along the beach. That’s one thing I miss about living in the centre of Seville, running along the river.
If you can find a place to run by the beach, along a river, or through a forest, it will heighten your experience and also your motivation. Running with impressive views in the distance makes you feel alive too.
Circle or straight
Another thing to consider is your route. Some people prefer running in a circuit, like a loop that goes round and back to their house. Others prefer a more extended stretch where they can go back on themselves.
Sometimes a more extended stretch is more comfortable to manage if you want to increase your distance gradually, especially if you can measure a kilometre easily and have a pointer to increase the length of your run. Adjusting a circuit each week can be complicated.
It depends where you live. Try to vary your running though, to avoid boredom.
So, there are a few pointers on how to choose your route for running. There are endless possibilities. Choose wisely. Now get out there and start running.
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