iphone apps for running; out of town edition
November 20, 2015 9:16 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for an iPhone app that will take me on a nice run in a town I am unfamiliar with.

Going to visit the in-laws tomorrow. Want to relieve the boredom by doing a lot of running. I am unfamiliar with this (major American urban west coast) city and in-laws are not runners. I want to tell my iPhone to take my on a 4 mile loop and I want the iPhone to whisper gently in my ear along the way: "Now turn left on Melrose...in 40 meters turn right on La Brea...take the central path through the park..."

Surely this exists, right?

I can't believe I am blowing my one question during "visit the in-laws week" on a stupid iPhone question
posted by Slarty Bartfast to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's not an app, and it can't whisper in your ear, but http://www.routeloops.com can generate a random route of any length from any location. It can also give you directions. If it were me though, I'd just follow my nose and see where it takes me.
posted by spudsilo at 9:38 PM on November 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

My usual procedure when running in an unfamiliar city is to use the Strava global heatmap to see where other runners go, then plan out a simple route with as few turns as possible, and write them down on a slip of paper with the distance, the turn direction, and the road/path onto which I am turning.

The only caveat is that in cities with marathons (or other major road races), you need to verify that popular routes aren't popular because thousands of people run them on closed roads during a race. (I discovered this when planning a route in Berlin last spring.) Especially in the LA area, there are roads that are no fun to run along in normal conditions.

I wouldn't trust an app that auto-generated routes because real conditions on the ground are so important. I think the Strava app can provide real-time guidance on a course that you've generated on the Strava website, but I've never tried it.

I'm guessing that the references to Melrose and La Brea mean that you're in Hollywood or West Hollywood. I tried running on Sunset Boulevard in Brentwood some months ago, and discovered why it's not very popular: even when there were sidewalks, they were often blocked by trash cans and cars in driveways, and at places the sidewalk was replaced by a narrow trail on the side of the (very busy) road. You might be better off contacting a local club like the LA Frontrunners and asking for their advice.
posted by brianogilvie at 11:36 PM on November 20, 2015 [5 favorites]

logyourrun.com has routes that people have previously uploaded. I think it has an app, but I don't know whether it will give you verbal directions.
posted by cmoj at 9:37 AM on November 22, 2015

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