There are various kinds of running routes, each with its own distinct characteristics. The most popular types of running routes include:
Loop — A loop route is a route that begins and ends in the same spot and takes a different way back, meaning you never have to retrace your steps. Running around the block would be considered a loop.
Out and Back — An out-and-back route is one where you run to the halfway point, then turn around and retrace your steps back to where you began.
Lollipop — A lollipop is similar to an out-and-back, except that before turning around and heading back to the start, you add a loop of some kind first.
Point to Point — A point-to-point route is a bit less common, as it requires you to return to the starting point by some means other than running. Some famous races, such as the Boston Marathon, are a point-to-point course.
Figure-8 — A figure-8 loop is essentially two looped routes joined together.