Back in May I started my challenge to try and run as many streets near my house in Glasgow in one month. You can find out how I got on here. But I didn’t stop when I got to the end of May. I loved finding new streets that I’d never seen despite being only a few minutes from my front door. And I loved that I was now getting a real sense of where I lived and how neighbourhoods changed even from one side of a street to the other. So, I carried on and this is what I’ve learned 25 runs later:
- Glasgow may be the home of world famous architect Charles Rennie McKintosh but did you know that, before he became a famous painter, MC C Escher also designed Glasgow’s streets. It must be easy to run an American city with identical blocks making it easy to navigate and criss cross. Instead Glasgow resembles an Escher painting with streets that you run for miles and miles only to find yourself back at the start and running in the opposite direction. I swear that the film Inception was filmed in Glasgow and the famous scene of Leonardo Di Caprio showing Paris fold in on itself was actually filmed in Clarkston and required no special effects at all. If you’re thinking of running every streets then pick somewhere flat and straight and ideally somewhere that doesn’t require you to navigate a maze worth of a minotaur.
- After 10 or so runs you’re starting perimeter will expand. You will need to run for five minutes just to get to an area you’ve not already covered. By 20 runs you’re probably running a mile to get to new streets. That means two miles of your run will be spent getting to and from the streets you’re ticking off. There is no way to stop this that doesn’t involve a car. I don’t know if using a car to get to places is within the spirit of running every street. It is called ‘running every street’, not ‘getting dropped off and then running every street’. I suspect by the 30th run I will be driving though as my runs will basically consist of running to a street, then, exhausted having got there, ticking it off and then running home.
- You do run longer than if you went out for a non ‘running every street’ run. It does give you that thought in your mind to just run another street or block or area before coming home. If you want to train for a marathon then running every street is good practice. Perhaps not good practice for an ultra-marathon though as you’ll never be able to follow a trail for 50 miles without going paranoid about passing all the tracks leading off in other directions.
- And, finally, having reached the milestone of day 25 and having run on average 10km every run I do intend to carry on. Not just because I’m still enjoying it but because I still haven’t completed the page of my Glasgow street map showing all the streets near me.