Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different route types?

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. 

What is a good running route?

As every runner has their own preferences, the definition of a good running route can vary. Nonetheless, a good route would keep you in safe areas on surfaces you find suitable for running and cover the distance you intend to run during the workout. It will also generally have a starting point and end point that is easily accessible and convenient.

What are the benefits of running?

Running provides many advantages, such as losing weight, enhancing cardiovascular health, boosting lung capacity, and strengthening bones. It also lowers the likelihood of developing chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Running also contributes to better mental health by reducing stress and anxiety levels and improving the quality of your sleep.

What are the best running routes in my area?

When it comes to finding the best running routes, Strava and AllTrails are the top contenders. Strava's heat maps offer a comprehensive view of the most frequently used routes in a given area. AllTrails, on the other hand, provides user reviews and ratings for each route, making it easier to find the best ones. 

What is the best way to plan a running route?

The best way to plan a new route depends on the runner. Some runners are very particular about where they run and need to know all the details and directions before they start. In contrast, other runners prefer simple directions as they are more concerned with the mileage covered than anything else.

These two types of runners are likely to create routes very differently. The detail-oriented runner prefers an app like Komoot, while the other runner prefers Footpath's speed and simplicity. It comes down to personal preference, so trying a few different apps to see which works best for you is a good idea. 

Can you plan a running route on Google Maps?

Creating a running route on Google Maps is completely viable, but it isn’t necessarily the best tool for the job. Since it wasn’t designed to create running routes, it can fall a little short in that area. While it will give you the overall mileage of a route you create, it doesn’t provide much more information for a runner, such as elevation profiles or surface types. It can also sometimes give some unsafe directions to runners, even when you tell it you are a pedestrian instead of a car. Google Maps also does not support exporting files to running watches of any brand.