City running and rural running are two different animals. Since many people will be travelling over the holidays and potentially running in places they’re not used to, here are some tips for runners to navigate the biggest differences between urban and rural running.
Roads aren’t always well maintained
City roads are typically well maintained, but when planning your route in the country, make sure that you stick to roads you know will be cleared. It’s easy to forget that the further you get from town, the less likely you are to find a clear path.
Bathroom breaks will happen in nature
If you’re running in the country, there likely isn’t a Starbucks on the corner, so chances are you’ll be taking a bathroom break in a snow bank or behind a tree.
You don’t have to worry about big crowds
Running in the city can mean big crowds before you get to path or trail. When running in the country, the only group you will have to worry about are herds of animals.
There might not be cell reception everywhere
When you’re accustomed to always having cell phone service, it’s easy to forget that there are dead zones in the country. If you were planning on streaming something or needed directions to get home, download that content before you head out the door.
It can be difficult to find a training group
If you’re going to a new city, it’s pretty easy to find a local training group, but when heading to a rural spot, those become few and far between. Unless you know some runners in the area, chances are you’ll be working out solo.
Pack lots of snacks
Going for a really long run? Bring food. Don’t bank on purchasing anything mid run, because chances are you won’t be seeing a store until you’re almost back at your starting point.
While running in a rural area can present a unique set of challenges, it will also be one of the most beautiful and serene runs of your year.