How To Find New Areas For Marathon Training Long Runs

The one thing during Marathon training that I have struggled with is finding areas to run long distances. The longest run I have trained for to date has been a half marathon. And the longest training miles I did was 9. Finding a 4.5 mile stretch (out and back) was never really that hard. However with marathon training it is a little different. I now am looking for 6 – 10 mile (one way) long running paths. Unfortunately that is not as easy.

Usually when I am looking for a long run trail I would naively open up google maps and look for local parks that I could squeeze my long runs in. Of course I knew about the major areas I could run, but all of the popular spots are becoming repetitive. I like to explore new areas to keep the excitement of marathon training fresh. And that is how I stumbled on This is an amazing site that allows you to find local running or biking trails close to your area. On the main screen you can type in your zip code and up pops a map of trails local to your area. It’s that easy.

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Each trail has it’s own page on Trail Link. They show you pictures of the trail, a map, the trail distance, locations of restrooms and drinking areas and so much more! It really is a one stop shop to help you understand a trail you may have never run before. Along with all of the things I listed above they also give user reviews of the trail this way you get a feel of the trail and what running on it will be like. You do need to sign up for this, but it does not cost any money. There is a button that reads “Get Unlimited” which tells me there is a subscription service. But as of now I have not had to pay.

Some of these trails I knew about but some I did not. What makes this exciting is it unlocks a whole new world of running that I never knew about. It also allows me to explore my area that much better. I always heard people talk about how marathon training is just as much mental as it is physical. And I always took that as mental toughness. But it is also about changing the way you think about and look at running.

I hope this helps other newbie marathon runners like me!

What is your best way to find new running locations?


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