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Should you leave the comfort of your regular running routes?

How often are you leaving your regular running routes to try new paths?

If you are a creature of habit...like just about any other runner, the answer is not very frequently.

And, I would argue that there is nothing wrong with this.

It really doesn't make sense to leave your regular running route if you have created a good balance of terrain you can cover, such as rolling hills and different surfaces.

You can establish a nice, consistent routine and watch your times drop on the same routes to know that your fitness is improving.

If you are racing the same races every year as well, you probably already have established mastery of those courses.

You probably don't need much help improve your running if this is the case.

You should focus on continually getting better at training on those routes and racing on those courses.

However, if you think your regular routes are lacking any real diversity, are frequently traveling and running in unfamiliar places, or constantly running new race courses...

You have no baseline of comparison for your runs.

Now, how should you be benchmarking your fitness if this is the case?

Times and pace don't really matter all that much since those are so heavily influenced by the changing terrain.

You could try to run based on your rate of perceived effort, but that is not easy to consistently catalogue everyday.

There is a tool that can help you.

I would argue that running power is your best option to benchmark your fitness.

Running power will be your key to running at a comparable effort between vastly different routes because Stryd automatically incorporates the effects of hills and the other things that slow you down such as wind and fatigue in realtime.

If you are a runner of habit, time is fine for comparison. But, if you are constantly running in different areas and trying different races but still care about your performance goals, running power from Stryd will be your best metric for apples-to-apples comparison. The power numbers will reveal if you are improving or not.

You can get that here: https://store.stryd.com

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