Exploring through running

So, I have recently just moved to a new area (hellooooooo Manchester) and one of the first things I did when I arrived was go for a run. I know to a lot of people will think this is very odd, myself included, but it did get me thinking, whenever I move anywhere, I always pretty much go for a run as soon as I can. It’s my own little way of exploring the local area, and I’ve actually found some pretty nice places through it, sometimes places that people who have lived in an area for years never knew existed. Not only this, but I find with running you can see so much more of a place in much quicker than just ambling around, and then, after I’ve seen it on a run, I can establish if i’d want to see more, like Lake Jarun when i moved to Zagreb. Also, I think for me running is also a way of calming down. We all know how stressful moving is, especially to an unknown area, but going for a run instantly makes me feel more settled and helps me to get my bearings.

Lake Jarun in Zagreb – a pretty little find from a settling in run and which later become our go-to sunbathing spot!

How do I prepare for these runs I hear you ask? Well, I simply have a cheeky little look on Google maps to find some green spaces around me, sometimes using street view and satellite options to see what the path situation is like, get an idea of where I want to go, pack my phone to check maps as I go along, put on my running shoes and go, simple!

This morning I found a pretty little park, stumbled across a 10k at Salford Quays (I didn’t join in) and got very over-excited at Media City (ft. dorky photo of my below). Usually these runs are a bit longer than normal, but i’m usually stopping and starting so much to look at a map/take photos that I rarely notice.

It really doesn’t take a lot to make me happy

Not only do I like doing this as a way of settling in, but as a runner, this is also key to establishing my ‘go-to’ running route. It normally takes a few of these ‘exploration runs’ to gather where is best (for example, today had way too many main roads for my liking) and then after a week or so, I have a good standard route.

Of course, this behaviour isn’t just limited to when I move, but also when I go on holiday. Although, whilst I tell myself the main reason for this is to explore the area, secretly a lot of it is so I can legitimately stuff my face with more local food and take lots of pretty photos…

So, I know to a lot of people will think this is weird, but I’m just one of those weird people who likes running and this is just all part of my settling in routine. Any other fellow explorer runners out there? Any advice on good places to run in Manchester? Do any of you have slightly abnormal settling in habits? I’d love to hear about it!




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