One of the advantages of running is that you can enjoy the great outdoors, whether you decide to jog around the local park or the beach you can take in the sights of mother nature while improving your fitness. Different terrains also provide different challenges which can help to add variety to your workouts and engage different muscles. You can scout great locations around your area by researching route mapping websites, terrain mapping tools, or Google Maps. Here are some of our favorite ideas.
A beach provides relaxing seaside scenery as a backdrop for a running workout. Not only will you get to enjoy the crashing waves, but the sand will make your workout harder when compared to the street or even grass, especially if you’re running on deep sand. There are a couple of things to be aware of however – Firstly, running on parts of the beach which are slanted at noticeable angles (to the side) will stress your leg joints and could lead to injury. In addition, muscular imbalances may become apparent when one leg works at a higher elevation than the other for extended periods of time. For this reason, it is important to consider the tide conditions for the day prior to running. A low tide will expose most of the ground, revealing relatively flat terrain that’s ideal to run on. Also, consider investing in running shoes with a tight mesh to fend off the sand and avoid nasty rashes.
Parks are usually a great place to jog due to the abundance of winding paths and green spaces. Jogging in parks has also been shown to have numerous health benefits such as reducing stress levels while increasing the feeling of euphoria during the “runner’s high” among other things. Immersion in natural surroundings may also aid in concentration and running performance. Parks are more accessible for most people than beaches, provide an easier surface and you also don’t need to worry about the tide.
An oval track usually consists of a flat, rubberized, synthetic surface which is optimal for running. The standardization of measurements and specifications for most oval tracks makes it possible for running workouts to become more consistent in terms of distance and pacing even if you visit a track in a different area. The length of one lap on a typical oval track varies within the distance range of 400 to 450 meters from the innermost to outermost lane respectively. Oval tracks are ideal for high intensity workouts which are made up of various intervals.
Running trails offer an unparalleled experience as one will encounter running paths that in some cases pass through hilly terrain far from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Jogging on a running trail can help to build strength in your feet depending on the topography of the terrain. Spending time away from the city may also help when it comes to preventing cardiovascular disease. The prolonged period of time spent running on uneven terrain may also assist in building stronger leg muscles.