I usually prefer to run an “out and back” route in trying to look for trail routes in the mountains. I start with a comfortable distance of 5K (or One Hour ) from the point where I start my run. With the use of my GF305 GPS watch, once the watch registers a distance of 5 kilometers (or one hour), I would immediately turn-around and go back to where I started. In total, I was able to run a distance of 10 kilometers or two hours of running & hiking.
If my training program would call for 11-12 kilometers for my daily runs, I would try to run one-half of the said distance and then immediately turn-around to go back to where I started. I would do this for a couple of weeks and try to average the amount of time I would finish the said distance.
Once I am comfortable running the “out and back” distance, I would increase the distance with a minimum total distance of 5 kilometers and do the cycle of making myself comfortable in running the distance in a couple of weeks. I would then register the average time that I would finish the distance and try to find out if I am getting faster as I am getting comfortable with the said distance.
My present 28K (17.5 Miles) “out and back” course where I would do my trail long runs had been traced and explored for months! It was only when I became comfortable; measured the distance; and got the average time I would finish the course that I posted on Facebook about my “Playground”.
It is in this 28K “out and back” course where I do my long runs; speed play/”fartlek”, tempo runs, and progression runs. It is also on this course where I experiment on my hydration and nutrition. This is also the place where I test and evaluate my running kits and stuffs.
This is also the same course where I would bring my ultra running friends who want to train with me in my “playground”.
If you need to look for a place to run, just follow an “out and back” course. Whether it is the time or distance which you will consider on your first half of the run, turning around and going back to where you started will guaranty you a successful running workout. Make sure to increase the distance and time of your running workout after you are comfortable with your first “out and back” course in about 2-3 weeks duration. This is how you should increase your total weekly mileage.
Keep on running!