Once you’ve decided to start running and follow along with a couch potato to 5k program, you need to pick where to run.

One easy solution, if you have access to a gym, is to use a treadmill. Using a treadmill, you can keep track of your time and distance without even needing a watch! Another benefit of a treadmill is that you are able to train even if it is rainy or cold out – the conditions will always be the exact same as they were last time. Some people dislike using a treadmill, as they find it can get boring. If there are TVs in the gym, or you can make a playlist to listen to while you run, this can help make a treadmill run more enjoyable.

If you decide you would rather run outside, you probably want to pick a route ahead of time. This way there is no chance of you getting lost, and you will also know the exact distance you have left as you progress with the workout. Fortunately for newcomers, there is a great tool just for this called GMap Pedometer, and it is completely free.

GMap Pedometer allows you to automatically create routes using a Google Maps interface. You can pick points along your route, and it will automatically tell you the best way to run to that point, using either driving rules or walking paths if you prefer. As you add more points to the route, it will automatically update the statistics, telling you how far your route is so far. You can also use the elevation feature to determine how hilly the route will be. As a beginner, you might want to pick a route that has few hills. While there is a benefit of running hills while training, at this point that is not necessary.

Once you’ve done your route once, you can either continue repeating it, or pick a different route each time. One main reason people like to repeat routes is to judge their progress and compare their time since the last time they ran it. When you are following a couch to 5k program, this doesn’t apply – almost every time you run will be a different amount of running time with different breaks.

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