Tired of your same old running routes? Looking for some places to run in Birmingham? Tired of driving routes to measure distance? Fortunately, there are plenty of websites available to help you find running routes posted by other runners. You can even map out your own routes online.
There are several online options to find new running routes.
One of the most popular websites is Map My Run. After creating a free log-in, you can search for running routes in the greater Birmingham area or even your local neighborhood. The map will display the distance, location and creator of each route.
Many runners today use GPS watches to keep track of their runs. Garmin Connect is one of the most popular websites for doing this online. An online account is free. Garmin Connect also has a route search function that displays runs that other users have posted with their GPS watches. You can search by Activity (running, biking, etc.), Event Type (training, race, etc.), Distance, or other parameters.
Say you want to explore a new area or a route that’s not listed on one of the above maps. Or you just want to know how far you ran (or how far you are planning to run). There are several sites that can help you with this, too. These sites have functions that will let you map out and save new routes. You can select your starting point, click along the map to create your route, and select your ending point. The software will automatically “follow” along roads and even some paths. You can even create “out and back” routes. Your map will show route distance and even profile elevation. Once you save these routes, you can refer back to them time and again until you know them by heart.
Here’s a map of the Lakeshore Greenway in Homewood showing a 5 mile out and back route.
Another popular site with many of the same functions is Gmap-Pedometer. Here’s a 5.2 mile loop through Mountain Brook.
Play around with some of these websites. Pretty soon you’ll be exploring fresh, new routes to reinvigorate your running. What are some of your favorite online running map websites? Share them with us on the BTC Facebook page.