Mapping Your RunsMapping Your Runs

Many people love to run. Some simply roll out of bed, put on some shoes, and start running. Some run for fun, others are trying to get fit and lose weight, while others are training for a specific event. Whatever the reason for your desire to run, it helps to know how far you are running.

You can map your runs a variety of ways. The most widely used way is to jump in your car, reset your odometer, and drive around. This works well, but tends to be time consuming and costly in terms of gas usage. It is also difficult to find routes that are specific distances, without a lot of a u-turns and trying different roads.

A more modern approach is to use a GPS receiver. While this is potential more accurate, you still have to drive around with it to find the distances.

Good news is in sight. The internet today has provided a fast and easy way to map your runs. Most sites let you browse a map to find your starting point. You then plot points along roads or trails and a running distance is kept track. You can back up and try different routes easily. The only downside of the electronic mappings is that you do not see the surrounds of your run beforehand, so you might not know about the monster hill at mile 7!

A benefit of using electronic mapping tools is that they allow you to log your runs. This helps you keep track of your training schedule, shoe wear-and-tear, and your performance. Another benefit is that many sites let you share you favorite runs with other people, as well as search for runs in another area. If you travel a lot, electronic run mapping websites will help you find and plan your away runs much easier.

Whatever your preferred method of tracking your runs, the most important thing is to keep running!

by Dave Stevenson
References and Bibliography

Dave Stevenson recently completed his first of many marathons to come. Having spent the summer driving around planning his training runs, he developed a free website called Favorite Run that lets you map your runs, log your runs, and share them with others. You can visit his website at

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