Another great advantage of MapMyRun and Google Maps is being able to work out a running course in an unfamiliar area. In years gone by, when on extended touring trips in Europe and North America, many of my daily training runs consisted of running out along a main road for 20 or 30 minutes, turning around and then running back the same way. If the main road was busy or lacked a shoulder, the run could be unpleasant. Nevertheless, when you're in a strange town and don't have detailed maps, it's not always a good idea just to set out along a side road in the hope you'll be able to find a safe loop of the desired distance. Often on these minor roads you can encounter unrestrained territorial dogs, or perhaps find yourself unexpectedly on private property or at a dead end. Maybe you just get uncomfortably stared at by folks unused to the sight of a runner on their back road. Of course, these things can happen even if you know where you are going, but at least the maps, satellite views and photography can give you a better idea of the roads, distances, settlements and terrain.
|Oops! There's supposed to be a bridge here|