Driving somewhere to run

I live in a moderate-size village with safe places to run (mostly on pavements). I'm now starting to up my mileage and think that I might get bored with just running around the same routes all the time. There are also a limited number of hills (a bonus point to start with but not so much now). So I have two options: I can start to venture out onto the country roads (not inconceivable, some of them are quite wide, and they are mainly nothing faster than a 40mph speed limit); or I can drive somewhere and run.

So, my question, do any of you regularly drive somewhere to do your running and does this effect your motivation? I am slightly concerned that if I have to drive somewhere that I will lose my mojo!


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24 Replies

  • yes -- I often drive to a Parkrun further from home - it is called "Parkrun tourism" . And if I do take up Orienteering, I am going to have to travel to the sites as there are none close to me.

  • Thanks Baz. I'd never considered that I already drive to do a parkrun and don't have an issue with it!

  • I have a similar dilemma. I sussed out my local country park this week, which is about a 15 minute drive away, but I think it might keep the motivation up a bit. I am worried about looking like a nerk doing my stretches after before getting in the car, as I think 15 mins is too long to wait till I get home, but I suppose people have seen worse things than a slightly overweight middle aged woman in lycra in odd positions ... maybe!!

  • Don't feel self-conscious stretching in the public park. One time when I was stretching I was approached by a woman who was setting out on her mountain bike. We exchanged pleasantries then we got onto the subject of running and I found out she is a runner too (had run 5 marathons) and was waiting to go into hospital two weeks later for a hip replacement, so was only able to do slow cycling at the time. Anyway, we had a lovely wee chinwag for 10 minutes!

  • Ooh, your comment has just made me realise that I have a great country park up the road that I can feasibly drive to and then run round.

    And as for the stretching, there are probably people in this world that would pay to see that sight :D

  • Ha ha you haven't seen the size of my arse!!

  • That just made me laugh out loud!

    Just to clarify, I am talking about your comment, not your arse. ;)

  • Why thank you! My arse will be shrinking visibly from now on NOW THAT I'VE GRADUATED!!!!!!!!!

  • I did over the summer when training for a marathon. As my long runs increased in mileage I choose to drive to different locations for my long, slow runs (running up to 30km/3+ hrs), once a week. I choose locations where I could plot a circular route and where hubby could accompany me on his bike. I also tried to do most of these long runs off-road and the forest tracks in my immediate vicinity are far too hilly.

    I found this increased motivation. I love maps and love plotting routes, researching the route profile and the terrain (had to be suitable for hubby's bike) and any 'escape routes' ie shortcuts that I could use if I needed to cut my distance.

  • That's another option to me is to take it onto trail running as there are a few more options round here for that ... and still within a sensible distance of my front door!

    That's heartening to read that it increased your motivation.

  • BTW If you live in Scotland, the website WalkHighlands is a brilliant resource to plan routes. It covers the whole of Scotland, not just the Highlands and lists walks/running routes by grade and length.


  • If only! West Midlands based ... not too well known for its miles and miles of scenic countryside ;)

  • I started driving to a local park to do my runs and it was a huge motivator in completing C25K - although I did initially felt a bit guilty taking the car to run.

    Ironically, I've lived near the park for almost 20years and had never ever been there until this year - now it's pretty much my favourite place. I know all the swans in the loch individually now (seriously! Sad, I know :) ), and I'm loving watching the seasons changing the landscape. The looming winter is a bummer though as the park isn't lit at all, so I'll need to find a new favourite place soon!

  • I am now curious as to how you can tell the difference between the swans as they all look the same to me! How are they to run past when they have their cygnets with them ... have you had to outrun any of them yet?!

    I only consider myself to have had a successful run if I have seen a squirrel :)

  • I often drive to my runs. Trail runs in the woods, always, and my long runs I do in a nature reserve. I do short runs direct from the door when I have limited time, and generally go for a run while waiting for the kids at cubs/swimming etc, but running around the town is not my favourite pastime.

  • I have the option of running through housing estates but, like running through towns, it's not a particularly appealing thought!

    I'm definitely persuaded to drive out for a run now with all of these responses! To me, the appeal of running versus going to the gym was that I could just put my trainers on and head out of the door and I was concerned that driving somewhere would kill that simplicity.

  • I don't have a car so always have to start my runs from my house and I'm really getting bored stiff with my routes. I'm now considering using my bus pass to go in any direction - ask the driver to tell me when he's gone about three/four miles - and then I'll run home!

  • I love that idea ... definitely worth doing I reckon! And it'll give all the people-of-a-certain-age something to talk about when you hop on in your lycra :D

  • I'm not the typical type with a bus pass, certainly! :D

  • Yes to me it did. I'm going to message you.

  • I usually drive out for a run. I live in the sticks, but all of my footpaths are through fields that are covered with 6ft high stingy nettles, so unfortunately I cant get onto the decent tracks without a half mile drive beforehand.

    I also find it allows me to explore other areas though, so is quite a positive thing in a number of ways and stops the boredom of running the same route every day.

  • I accidentally ran through stingers today, not pleasant. I am now off to plan a run around somewhere new ... actually sadly quite excited at the prospect :)

  • I have been surprised just how much of an area you can explore with a 5 - 7k run. I walk the dogs around here every single day, but have seen far more of the local countryside since I have been running.

    Beware of those stingers though - they are vicious! I have had to do a swift u-turn on more than one occasion....

  • I live in a small village and did my C25K in the winter. Safest and easiest was to pop in to my local town, park up and hit the streets. I don't think you'll lose your mojo at all - you'll soon get into the routine. You could buy a good head torch and take to the trails and fields around your area, but I wouldnt recommend it when you're starting out.

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