Travel Tip: Recommended Running Routes

Travel Tips - Fitness

Local Leads

When my travel is sedentary rather than active - museums, dining, driving, shopping, and shows instead of hiking, biking, kayaking, and swimming - my body rebels and my conscience squirms! It's worth my time to pull out my jogging gear and log a few miles.

But where to go?

Not all running routes are equal. And certainly not all front desk clerks know what you're looking for. What if you could check in with local runners and get their input?

Now, thanks to RunKeeper, you can do just that.

logoRunKeeper, a free iPhone app (also available with upgrades for only $19.99/year or on Android), is an incredible tool for tracking exercise, including GPS monitoring of routes, distance, time, pace, fitness reports, and more. Activities can be tracked by RunKeeper automatically (press "Start" and the GPS & clock will do the rest) or manually (for gym activities, for example). 

RunKeeper recently rolled out a new feature, which is great for travelers as well as locals.

Users can post their routes, then route seekers simply search the web site for those suggestions. For example, I searched for local routes here in my hometown of Richmond, Virginia and found the Byrd Park loop, a Fan loop, Richmond Half Marathon, Pony Pasture 5k and more - runs of various lengths in some pretty spots. In Leesburg, VA, I found the 2.5 mile WO&D loop (a nice rails-to-trails path). In Denver, CO I found the Cherry Creek Path and two Cheesman Park loops. Tempe has Tempe Town Lake skirting the river.

A click on a route will give you a closeup of the route on Google map, elevations, and other routes by that same runner. You can add that route to your own library to follow.

RunKeeper recently added this feature to their ever-growing list, so expect more routes as users continue to contribute. I'd like to see the option to add notes to the routes and to spot routes on a larger city map. Having seen several RunKeeper improvements in the seven months since I've been a user, I expect this feature will get even better.

RunKeeper also includes social media benefits: automatically upload your activity to your Facebook and/or Twitter account after each activity; start a "street team" and support each other online; track your mileage and your fitness goals. The app is great not just for running but also for biking, hiking, as well as for gym work.

For more about RunKeeper and more of their features, visit their web site or go to the iTunes store. They are but one of many ways to stay fit as you travel!

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