Let’s just say I’m thankful for Google Maps. If I can get lost on a marshalled 5k run, it will come as no surprise that I often have navigation issues on solo long runs. But I quite enjoy the sense of adventure that these outings bring. Running increasingly longer distances provides the opportunity to explore and, because I always get lost, the routes are very rarely the same, even if I am heading off from my own front door.
I’ll normally set aside a whole morning for my little adventures, especially if I’m somewhere new, not knowing how far or for how long I might be running. A quick glance at a map will usually do for a plan – I’ll at least know which direction to start running in, after that it’s all free styling.
I always carry supplies with me – a lesson learnt over time. On my first run-exploration, I had nothing on me but my phone for what turned out to be an two-hour explore. Now, I take a few more supplies…
- My Berghaus backpack. Big enough to carry anything I could possibly need but small enough to not weigh me down and made perfect with its easy access bottle holder.
- Plenty of water in my trusty non-drip Nathan bottle. Hydration is important, especially when you don’t know when you might get back to base.
- A Buff. Depending on the season, these useful accessories can protect you from the sun in summer or keep in valuable warmth in winter. My insect shield Buff, from kitshack.com, is also impregnated with insect repellent – perfect for running though the trails.
- A running adventure calls for a mid-way picnic. My favourite fuel is a delicious GetBuzzing flapjack made of natural goodness and a pack of Honey Stinger organic energy chews for quick hits without the stickiness of gels.
- To prevent any niggling sweaty seams from causing too much damage, I take a stick of Body Glide.
- It’s important to bring a phone. Firstly to take pictures of newly discovered trails, secondly for the GPS to find your way home and finally to make the call when you realise you’re too far from home to run and need rescuing by car.
- I take money with me, just in case I need to hop on a bus but on the off-chance I bump into an ice-cream van. An adventure is like a mini holiday, after all.