One of the great things about running is that it’s an amazing way to relieve stress and center yourself when things get hectic. So when life throws you a curveball and you move to a new place, you may find yourself incredibly stressed and overwhelmed, without your regular running routine to fall back on. It’s a scary thought, so if you’re moving or recently moved, consider these tips to get your running life back on track ASAP. What’s great about the running community is that once you reestablish yourself in one of these areas, you can easily get recommendations for everything else. A running buddy can tell you what gym she uses and employees at a specialty running store are sure to know plenty of local trails, so don’t be afraid to ask around. To get started, here’s how to find…
A new running network
To get started, check out websites like runningintheusa.com, rrca.org, or coolrunning.com; they’re great resources to connect you with a local group, or if you prefer, a virtual network. If you’re looking for a one-on-one connection, buddyup.com can help match you with the ideal running match, as can the site joggingbuddy.com. Also consider posting a note looking for a new partner if your gym or running store has a public bulletin board, or even at the local library. Need a coach? The internet is full of resources, but you might also consider checking out local high school or college track teams; sometimes coaches work with non-student runners outside of school hours.
A new gym
If a gym is high on your must-find list, start by checking the internet for a list of gyms in your area. Then narrow down a few that are close to either your home or work, depending on when you like to exercise. Then check them out in person, ideally at the time you’ll usually work out so you can get a feel for how busy it is. Things to consider: how many treadmills the gym has and how long of a wait there is, how clean the machines and locker rooms are, the variety of group classes or types of training plans (if that’s your thing), and the overall demeanor of the staff. If the gym is a chain, ask if your membership allows you to workout at other locations if you travel frequently. Once you’ve made your choice, be sure to read the contract carefully before committing.
A new trail
One of the best ways to get to know a city is to explore it on foot, so check out your new neighborhood during easy runs. When you’re ready to venture out, try a site like mapmyrun.com to find a route of any distance in your neighborhood or trailrunner.com to find a nearby trail. You can also search the websites for your local parks for or nature centers for running paths. Just be sure to carry a phone with you in case you get lost until you’re more familiar with the area, and let someone know when and where you’re running, just to be safe.
A new running store
When you’re used to getting all your gear at the same familiar store, it’s easy to feel completely lost trying to find a new place. An internet search for “running shoes” is sure to produce a list of chain shoe or sporting goods stores, but add “local” or your zip code to the search and specialty running stores in your area should pop up. If you’re loyal to a particular brand of shoes, try searching the brand to see if they have a store nearby. Whatever you do, resist the temptation to stay inside and order sneakers, apparel and gear from a bunch of different websites just to avoid braving a new store; it may take a couple visits to different retailers, but once you find that perfect mix of knowledgeable employees and great selection, you’ll feel at home again.