How should I plan a route?: I don't know my area... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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How should I plan a route?

gingernut49 profile image

I don't know my area too well and went out on my first week two C25K on Wednesday - ended up two miles from home! Of course the walk back was good exercise too and fortunately I have a satnav on my phone.

29 Replies
WepreRunner profile image

I tend to run round and round in circles, as I live on top of a very steep, very long hill (there's no way I'd make it back up!) so I'm never too far away from home.

Could you not run out for the first half of the runs, then turn around and run back? I think I'd cry if I found out I still had another two miles to cover at the end of my run! :0)

gingernut49 profile image

Many thanks for your reply.

I like to run in circles - problem is that I have no sense of direction, and as these podcasts progress I'll be running longer and longer with the risk of getting even further away. I'm trying to walk at least two miles a day on the days I'm not running so I've far more stamina for walking than I did have. It helps that nowadays I don't have a car - I used to park as near as possible to where I was going, but now I walk everywhere. I'm 63 so I hope to keep it up as long as possible.

At least I plan on looking at a map thoroughly before I set out!

Hi. There is a website called which will let you choose a variety of routes from your home. good luck......I live on a hill too!

AliB1 profile image
AliB1Graduate in reply to pamram

This is what I use to plan my routes too

Tish1970 profile image
Tish1970Graduate in reply to AliB1

Me too! Though I have to turn off wireless networking or it goes bonkers and maps me running all over the show.

gingernut49 profile image

Thanks pamram - I'll have a look. Runtastic pro shows me a map of where I've been - Wednesday's was funny, I was meandering all over the place! When I'm doing the podcasts I don't want to stop to look at a map but I guess I can plot it into my satnav somehow.

mark909 profile image

I use gb mapometer. I like it as you can also use OpenSM as a background and it often has tracks and trails that you can't see in satellite or google maps

mrqwest profile image
mrqwestGraduate in reply to mark909

Nice find!

I'd been using google maps trying to spot tracks & trails whilst using the Runkeeper route mapper but a good 8 months or so. A few weeks back, I found OpenStreetMap which does show the majority of tracks & trails. I've found some excellent looking routes around here for when it gets a little warmer but was always a bit annoyed that you couldn't measure distance on OSM. Mapometer sorts that out nicely :)

gingernut49 profile image

Thanks Mark!

Oldgirl profile image
OldgirlGraduate is a great program for route planning, mapping, logging your runs.

gingernut49 profile image

Many thanks, I'll have a look at that one too.

HectorsHouse profile image

When I started out I was very unsure about how 'far' away from home, and had a good 10/15 minute warm-down on my first few! When you figure out how far you can go in a given time it will be much easier. I did this and plotted potential routes on mapmyrun, cutting short or adding to it as necessary on the run itself.

gingernut49 profile image

Thanks Hector. I think it will be easier once I've graduated. At present it's changing each week.

greenlegs profile image

I mapped out a 5k route from my house - at least, a 4k circuit, and then a 1/2 km extra there and back to make it up to 5k. It means I've got a good feel for what 5k is like (to do the whole lot takes me about 50 minutes at the moment, so mostly I just do the 4k circuit, and have a bit of an extra walk on the end after the podcast ends.

Once a week I do the whole 5k, to find out whether I've got any faster. (About a minute faster per week on average - not much - but I am running much more of it.) I've done quite a few runs elsewhere, but I like having that 'master' one to measure myself against.

Oldgirl profile image
OldgirlGraduate in reply to greenlegs

I've been out of touch with the site for many weeks so just trying to catch up on the news etc.

What stage are you at greenlegs?

greenlegs profile image
greenlegsGraduate in reply to Oldgirl

Right in the middle - did wk 5 run 2 today. So, no need to be doing 5k at this stage, but I've done a 5k fun 'run' twice before, a year or so ago, walking it (well, with a handful of 60 second jogs), so I knew what time I'd done then, and wanted to see how it improved as I got fitter. I also found out there was a parkrun very close to where I work, which I'd quite like to have a go at, but didn't want to stick out like a sore thumb, miles after everyone else. Hence the early focus on 5k, as well as the half hour exercise bit.

Oldgirl profile image
OldgirlGraduate in reply to greenlegs

Keep up the good work and don't worry about Parkrun they are a very friendly bunch of like minded people. Good luck with the rest of the programme.

Orroroo profile image

I use the goodrunguide as well but picked my own circuit with the smallest gradients I could find. I walk from my front door for 5.5 minutes to a landmark and start the circuits from there. The round trip is about 1.4km so no matter where I finish it can be no more than 700 metres back to the start. I have found that by doing laps its very easy to judge improvement in both time and distance, which I find a motivator. - All I can say is that it works for me (NB I hope to finish W8 on Monday so I am no expert)

gingernut49 profile image

Lots of ideas - many thanks to all of you!

Cazvs profile image

I use walkjogrun, it has loads of saved routes from other runners or you can plan your own. There's a well-used route near me that's popular with joggers and dogwalkers but it's not quite 5k so I'll have to start changing it soon!

wilmacgh profile image

Endomondo is another app worth a look.

I started with routes which had loops in them so I was never that far from home and could vary it so i wasn't just covering the same ground.

Worth checking out your local park or school playing fields as possible places to go.

Fingalo profile image
FingaloGraduate in reply to wilmacgh

Just had a play with this and mapped a couple of routes, thanks for the recommendation.

gingernut49 profile image

Thanks for that. I'm happy with runtastic pro so I'll just make sure I work out routes before I leave home in future!

sfb350 profile image
sfb350Graduate in reply to gingernut49

I've got a SatNav App called Waze on my Android phone. It's really for driving but I used it to find my way back on one occasion when I'd been a bit "adventurous" and got lost.

I've used google maps before to plan a route, it's nice to be able to zoom in and look at possible landmarks you'll see while you're out, so you remember where to turn etc

gingernut49 profile image

Thanks, fortunately I have a satnav on my phone - indispensable!

Hope sat nav got you home savpfe

gingernut49 profile image
gingernut49Graduate in reply to storminuk

Yes, that was over a year ago!

Bazza1234 profile image

How do these pre-planned "routes" work? Do you have to remember them?, look at the map on the phone as you run? -- or does the App give you directions on-route?

gingernut49 profile image

It depends on your phone. This is such an old post now - I always start from home as I don't have a car and I know my routes by heart so never get lost nowadays.

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