How do I choose the best running route for me?

Whether you are a casual runner looking for a quick and easy jog, or you are an experienced marathon runner looking to tackle a lengthy, challenging course, Seattle has much to offer to help you achieve your fitness goals.

Although it may seem easy enough for some to just get out there and hit the streets, there are several obstacles that may discourage many individuals from achieving their fitness goals. Here are some things that all runners should keep in mind while searching for the right running course:


  • Make sure while running at night, you are in a well-lit atmosphere.
  • Avoid running in high-crime neighborhoods and/or parks.
  • Get familiar with new courses and its surroundings. You are likely to get lost in unfamiliar territory.


  • Be very cautious while running in the rain. Your chances of injury rise considerably while running on slippery surfaces like manhole covers and street grates.
  • Running in extreme heat may cause heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke.


  • Gravel and outdoor trails me be unfamiliar surfaces to many individuals. Be cautious while running downhill and avoid taking long strides. This will decrease your chances of sliding and causing serious injury.
  • While running along busy city streets, keep clear of potholes and construction sites.

Hydration and proper footwear

  • Staying hydrated is crucial while undergoing any kind of cardiovascular exercise.
  • Running in parks and neighborhoods with designated water stations would be ideal.
  • Having the right footwear is also a very important element while running. Cross trainer or running shoes are a must. Don’t wear your casual everyday sneakers while running long distances.
  • Consult your local shoe store for questions and concerns about what shoe works best for you.

Keeping all of these factors in mind and with a little research from the helpful sites listed below, finding the best running route no matter where you live should be quite easy. These sites will include course length, terrain, and a detailed map for your convenience. If you are not looking for a running route in Seattle, these sites will still be able to help you chose the right course.

If you live in or around Seattle, The Seattle Athletic Club – Downtown is a great point to begin your cardio workout. Here are some recommended routes to consider:

  • Myrtle Edwards Park: head down Lenora St. and walk down the flight of stairs; across the street you’ll find the great Puget Sound; start heading north and continue until you hit the Sculpture Park and eventually Eliot Bay Park.
  • For an intense, uphill climb, make your way up to 1st. Ave; continue south until you find Madison St; this is a steep and challenging hill that will eventually take you up to Capital hill.



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