Correct me if I’m wrong, but I bet you’ve heard some form of the following sentence once or twice before: “Runners are prone to overuse injuries because the nature of the sport involves an extremely repetitive motion.” It’s a totally true statement (and you should incorporate cross training in your routine in order to prevent said overuse injuries), but the actual motion of running isn’t the only repetitive thing about the sport.
Every runner inevitably has a go-to route. Maybe yours is a conveniently located loop close to your home or an extra-special park trail, either way, if you run it all of the time you’re only making an already repetitive sport even more redundant. Sure, it's easy to immediately opt for the same route you know all too well when you're headed out for a workout, but the most successful runners include variety in their routines, not only to prevent injury but to keep the sport exciting, too.
Next time your getting ready to run, consider the following three reasons to pick a new route.
1. Change Up the Terrain
Remember the first time you ran the loop around your neighborhood? It was torturous and you weren't sure you'd even make it home. But with each new attempt it became easier, and now you run around it with more ease than it takes to binge-watch and entire season of Breaking Bad.
Our bodies adapt to exercise. Each time you repeat the same workout it becomes less challenging, which is good because it means you’re progressing, but if you don’t continue to increase the difficulty as you adapt, your progress will eventually come to a halt and your fitness will plateau. If you want to increase your strength and stamina as a runner switching up your routine by exploring new terrains is a great way to add variety to your training.
2. Stay Safe
Here's a pretty obvious statement, but maybe you never thought about it: when you run outside, people can see you. Continually running the same route (and especially at the same time on the same days) makes it especially easy for anyone who might be watching to keep track of your routine. It's unfortunate, but it's true and it's part of the reason running can be dangerous, especially if you run alone. Stay safe by having a few different routes to choose from and keeping your schedule as varied as possible.
3. Beat Boredom
Even if you live in a big, exciting city like New York or London, if you run the same route every day, you'll see the same scenery every day. One of the best things about running is that every workout is a chance to explore. Spice up your workouts and make them more fun by using apps like MapMyRun or Localeikki to explore new routes in your area shared by fellow runners.