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RunUltra forums > General discussion > How do you find trail routes to run? View modes: 
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bennyhana22 - 06/02/2019 21:08:16
   
How do you find trail routes to run?
Hi guys

Sorry if this is a bit too non-ultra specific, but I am training for an Ultra, so hopefully it counts!

I've only ever really been a roadie, but am excited about my impending first trail ultra in June (Race To The Tower).

I need some advice about how to go about finding trail routes to run 'close to me', so I can start to do more off-road running. I'm not lazy, but I also don't particularly want to have to drive miles and miles just to start my run!

I've tried to Google a bit, but just haven't really found much to help me. I live in Bromsgrove in North Worcestershire, and there's no shortage of varied, small lane road running, but I really do want and need to get on the trails.

Any pointers as to how I can cheat and access other people's trail routes would be great!

Hopefully someone can help...

Thanks!

Benjamin

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SarahCrunning - 06/02/2019 23:01:18
   
RE:How do you find trail routes to run?
Hi Benjamin,

It's a great question. Do you have a GPS watch that allows you to upload routes? I would suggest using an OS map to see where there are public footpaths and bridleways near where you live and then plotting a route using one of many websites or apps that allows you do this and export the route as a GPX file.

I have a Suunto and know that Movescount does allow you to see and use routes created by others if they have made them public. I assume Garmin Connect has something similar.

There are also a number of sites that allow users to upload GPX routes to them, so you could try browsing these or googling something like 'Bromsgrove GPX file' or 'Bromsgrove GPS routes'. If you are good with a map and compass, then all you need to do is get a map and take it with you.

I hope this helps a bit. If any of our members live in this area and are happy to share their routes, then please do so.
Sarah Cooke

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jessicamillerrunning - 07/02/2019 09:05:33
   
RE:How do you find trail routes to run?
Hiya!

My first ultra is Race to The Tower too! I'm doing it over one day. I can't give any pointers in regards to Worcestershire, but I'm in London and I try to get out to Richmond Park as much as I can, and there's a 7 mile long route that I try a do a few laps of every week.

Best of luck with training and see you in June!

Jess

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bennyhana22 - 08/02/2019 18:24:30
   
RE:How do you find trail routes to run?
SarahCrunning wrote: Hi Benjamin,

It's a great question. Do you have a GPS watch that allows you to upload routes? I would suggest using an OS map to see where there are public footpaths and bridleways near where you live and then plotting a route using one of many websites or apps that allows you do this and export the route as a GPX file.

I have a Suunto and know that Movescount does allow you to see and use routes created by others if they have made them public. I assume Garmin Connect has something similar.

There are also a number of sites that allow users to upload GPX routes to them, so you could try browsing these or googling something like 'Bromsgrove GPX file' or 'Bromsgrove GPS routes'. If you are good with a map and compass, then all you need to do is get a map and take it with you.

I hope this helps a bit. If any of our members live in this area and are happy to share their routes, then please do so.


Thanks Sarah - always sop kind and helpful with your responses. Yes, that's clearly the way to go, plus looking to do a few organised trail races etc. I'm doing the Malvern Hills half at the end of April and have my eyes on the Maverick ions-8 one around Tewkesbury (14.5 miles) on 6 April.

My problem is that moving to more trail stuff than road, I know I'll get a bit frustrated at having to stop to look at maps etc and make sure I'm not getting (too) lost. I'm a bit OCD and like to get out there and do it without too much faffing!

I've just recently upgraded to a Suunto 9 (it's mega!), so any pointers as to how to use the GPX maps functionality is very welcome!

Benjamin

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bennyhana22 - 08/02/2019 18:31:37
   
RE:How do you find trail routes to run?
jessicamillerrunning wrote: Hiya!

My first ultra is Race to The Tower too! I'm doing it over one day. I can't give any pointers in regards to Worcestershire, but I'm in London and I try to get out to Richmond Park as much as I can, and there's a 7 mile long route that I try a do a few laps of every week.

Best of luck with training and see you in June!

Jess


Hi Jess!

'I'm doing it over one day' - is there really any other way?!

I'm glad it's not just me who has signed up for a seemingly pretty tough and pretty damn long run for their first ultra. I wanted to make sure that whatever I did was adequately 'symbolic' for me - not a macho thing, just a feeling that yes, that really is an achievement. Whilst I've had no doubts or regrets at all about my choice, I do get quite frequent moments when I contemplate just how far it is! Like on Saturday when back from a cold and hilly 12.5 miler only to reflect that I am going to have to do all that again more than three times on the day!! Eek!

There's an almost 7 mile circular walk where I walk my dog that will be a good 'loop' to use as at least one trail to explore. Planning to do a double of that maybe next weekend.

Where have you 'come from'? Are you a converting roadie or already a trail runner? What sort of distances have you done before? If you're new to trails (like me), what sort of shoes are you looking at/have you tried?

Would be nice to share a bit of info over the next four months...! Crikey - I've just realised...it's four months TODAY!

Take care, and thanks for responding.

Benjamin
:o)

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SarahCrunning - 09/02/2019 00:08:26
   
RE:How do you find trail routes to run?
Hi Benjamin,

I have an older Ambit Peak 3, but it's very straightforward. I just go to Movescount - Map and then click to import a route and upload the GPX file I've found or created. I believe the Suunto 9 has different software, but I imagine the principle will be the same.

Once you have uploaded the route, then synch your watch and it should be there and you can follow the arrow on your watch. Once you are used to it, it's pretty easy to follow without slowing down or stopping as long as the route you created was accurate. The same goes for maps - the more you practise, the better you will get at navigating without having to stop much.

The races sound great training opportunities. You can also use the routes for solo runs if any of them are close to home.

Hope you have fun getting to grips with it all.
Sarah Cooke

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bennyhana22 - 11/02/2019 13:07:29
   
RE:How do you find trail routes to run?
Thanks so much Sarah - always a font of knowledge and guidance!

:o)

Ben

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SarahCrunning - 11/02/2019 19:23:53
   
RE:How do you find trail routes to run?
No problem at all :)
Sarah Cooke

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