Generally speaking, most runners run because they enjoy it! But even the most motivated runner will get tired of the same 5-mile route day after day.

Why? You may ask. Running is a very repetitive activity. In addition, a majority of your training runs are easy-paced miles. The combination of these two can make running monotonous at times, even for the biggest enthusiast. Audiobooks and podcasts can help, but sometimes you need a little something more to spice up your run.

One simple tweak? Try varying your running route to make a run more interesting. Each run will stay true to its training purpose without feeling like Groundhog Day. You may find yourself enjoy your miles, even more, when you vary your running routes often! 

Varying your routes by running trails

One of the simplest ways to vary your running route is to venture out onto running trails! You will automatically have more variety than your go-to road route. 

In some ways, trail running is more difficult than road running. Most likely, you will encounter more hills, which increase the effort of a run. If you choose a technical trail, you will add the extra demands of bounding over roots and rocks. 

Despite the added technical difficulty, trail running is actually easier on the body than road running. Asphalt and concrete are hard surfaces and running is a high-impact sport. The combination of the two places a lot of wear and tear on your body. Dirt surfaces are softer, and therefore there is lower impact. Even if you participate in road races, one day of trail running per week can decrease your risk of injury. 

Trails are often more scenic than roads, which brings a sense of newness and enjoyment to run. Trails allow you to explore and enjoy nature. This can especially be a novelty for urban runners who tire of city routes; you may find that a weekend trail run is exactly what you need. 

Not all trails have to be hilly and technical. You can find gravel roads, grassy parks, or even gentle carriage paths for off-road running. You get the benefit of trail running (less impact and scenic variety) without fatiguing your legs with steep climbs. 

Or, if you prefer a challenge, you can use trails as one of your hard workouts per week. You may enjoy picking a hilly trail or even a mountain trail. You will develop strength and stamina as a result–while having fun! 

How to find new running routes

Some runners thrive on consistency; others love adventure. Whether you are finding new routes on roads or trails, use your personality type as a guide for how you incorporate new routes into your training. This will optimize your enjoyment which is one of the reasons you want to run different routes.

Have a sense of adventure?

  • Turn it into a game. Make up your route as you go and take turns you may have not before.
  • Venture off-road onto running trails and parks.
  • Run with a buddy? Take turns planning new routes for each run.

Are you goal-driven?

  • Make it a point to run every street in your neighborhood and surrounding area. You may just find your new favorite route as a result.
  • Make a weekly goal of how many feet of vertical gain you want to run. Vary your routes with more hills and see if you can hit that goal. If not, try again next week with new routes. If you do, keep changing the goal and repeating the game.

Do you like routine? 

  • Plan your routes to change up throughout the week and make a weekly rotation: one day of easy runs on the trails, another on a hilly route, etc. Even if the routes are the same week-to-week, you still get variety within the week. 
  • Stick to your favorite route for easy runs, but then venture onto a different route for speedwork (such as the track or hills) and then use your long run to explore more.
  • Push yourself outside of your comfort zone once per week with a new route. Do this on an easy run so you are not worried about pace. 
  • Make small tweaks to your normal route, such as running it in reverse. 

Find new routes using the Runkeeper app

It’s best to open the suite in a separate tab so you can continue to follow the directions below.

  • Step 1: Log in to with your credentials. (The button is in the top right-hand corner)
  • Step 2: Click Routes from the magnifying glass button on the top navigation bar of the website
  • Step 3: Choose an activity type for your route.
  • Step 4: Enter the zip code or name of the town or city you are searching for routes. If you are searching for a specific length run, enter distance as well.
  • Step 5: Click ‘submit’, and you’re all set

Create new routes using the Runkeeper app

  • Step 1: Log in to with your credentials. (The button is in the top right-hand corner)
  • Step 2: Click on ‘Me Tab‘ and then ‘Routes’
  • Step 3: Click on the green button with a + symbol, and plot your route. When plotting is complete, enter the route type, name, description, and set who the route is ‘viewable by’.
  • Step 4: Select ‘save’ and your new route will be added to your routes.

Whether you prefer running trails or creating new road adventures, varying your running route adds a certain freshness to running and keeps motivation high. So don’t wait–get out there and head a different way at the start of your next run! 

What more? Explore the ASICS Runkeeper app to set goals and timelines for them. You can select your level of difficulty and also try out different activities. The app has audio cues for you to map your progress as you run.