Know your local loop like the back of your hand? Reckon you could bash out a local 5k with your eyes closed? Keep track of your mileage with familiar landmarks? You should get lost.
Running should be a joy, a means to explore, an adventure. Yes, running, no matter where you do it, feels great and will always deliver a giddy high but where’s the fun in plodding the same pavement every outing. Sure, it gets the job done but why turn your hobby into work. Whether you’re training for a big race or not, exploring different routes brings variety, entertainment even, and will make even the toughest long run a little more manageable.
My inbuilt sense of misdirection means I’ve always used seeking different sights as cover-up for getting lost. Now, if a route seems a little too familiar I almost get lost deliberately, taking a left turn instead of right just to make life more interesting. I’ve seen brilliant things just from going a different way, even just by running a route in reverse. You see things from a different angle or in new light and suddenly discover them all over again and appreciate them more.
The odd time I have had to call to be picked up after accidentally running miles in the wrong direction, I’ve crawled through bushes to escape from a field full of intimidating-looking horses and Google Maps is probably my more used app but that’s all part of the adventure!
Lost doesn’t have to mean not knowing where you are. Simple changes to your usual loop are enough to shake things up, refresh your running and keep your legs interested. So turn left instead of right, ignore your mapped-out routes and go get lost.