Commandments Of Running #2

#2 Thou shall go exploring

I heard the same phrase in various formats 4 times over the weekend…

“My running route is…”

I used to be that person. I made that mistake. Never again.

I’ve lived in my flat for 18 months now.

For 14 months when I went running I’d leave my drive and go left. Always left. Left leads to a quiet cycle path which ends at a big park, left leads downhill, left leads away from traffic and people and left is the way I went.

Then one day I ran with a friend and they went right. RIGHT! Can you believe the idiocy of going right?!

Right led to beautiful Georgian architecture, wide tree-lined avenues, small community parks and rolling hills. Right meant running with the sun on your face and finishing with a gentle downhill.

Maybe right wasn’t so bad after all…

Since then I’ve tried going straight over the road and down a little path that leads directly in to town. That’s a whole new experience I tried to avoid before. There’s people and noises and smells, but when you pass that there’s parks and green space and quaint villages on the edge of town. Of course if you run early enough then you have the town centre to yourself, a private playground shared maybe with a milkman or street sweeper.

And then there’s the streets immediately surrounding my home. Recently I went out and ran 4 miles without ever being more than half a mile from my house. I ran all the back streets, did two laps of the small park nearby, ran both sides of a beautiful quiet road amazed at how different they could be, separated by only a few metres of tarmac and my direction of travel it was like two differing worlds as shadows became sunlit, headwind became tailwind and the view went from distant road junction to imposing church…and all I’d done is turn around!

So please don’t be that person. Don’t have a ‘running route’ unless it’s for something training specific (I still turn left if I want to do kilometre repeats, having a set route for that really helps!) and instead go out and explore, amazing things await you!

If you want to go exploring maybe you could try alternating left and right turns at every junction? If you run commute perhaps you could challenge yourself to get to work by different roads each morning of the week? Let me know how you get on exploring!

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5 Responses to Commandments Of Running #2

  1. I must admit I do keep to the same routes. Gotta change it up!

    • James Clay says:

      It’s amazing how quickly a route becomes comfortable and you do it all the time. I find those routes are easier to cancel running when the weather gets bad or I don’t feel like it. I know every inch of the route so well I can find the bit that will be too wet to run over or the hill I won’t get up after a hard day. Just getting out the door with no set direction in mind means I can’t ever dodge a run based on route!

      Glad to hear your battling CD with exercise as well as drugs. My best mate has Ulcerative Colitis, has had some bad attacks over the years and is one more away from major surgery. He needs to avoid stress and I’ve finally got him using running and riding for mental health as much as physical!

  2. So funny cause I’ve just decided to change up my running route. I’ve run down to the promenade and along the seafront for ages now but believe you me, even that can get boring! So I’ve started changing it up just this week. Great minds and all… 😉

    • James Clay says:

      I love running by the sea when I get the chance, but I couldn’t do it every day! I’ve run near you (I think) a few times, from Littlehampton to Lancing Beach. It’s a great 10 miles but I wouldn’t want to do it too often!

  3. Thanks for the reminder.

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