Working out Distance

Hi Folks,

I am more than willing to admit that as far as money is concerned, I have skin-flint tendencies which brings me to my problem.

There is no way on this earth, that I want to fork out on one of those time/distance watch things, especially as I have heard they are not all that reliable.

Having said that though I really want to work out the kind of distance I have been running. I know you can drive a car a long the course, but what if you are running around a park. I am not sure the park keeper is going to be that pleased when he sees a dirty great car churning up his beloved park, so how can I work out distances around a park.

I thought I could work it out through times run, but now I am begiing to suspect that I am running faster than I initally thought.

Anyone with any ideas


  • The 'best' way I've found so far is to get an OS map of the area (costs money - sorry! - or you could go to and print one out) and lay a piece of thin string along your route, then compare it to the scale. Not 100% precise, but close enough, especially on long runs.
  • Accuroute is a fab bit of software (was being given as the free gift for subscribing to RW but otherwise is ~£15) where you load up a map of the area (either a scanned OS or something off the internet) then trace your route using your mouse.

    It measures the distance pretty well - depending I guess on the scale your map and the steadiness of your hand - but they reckon it is 99% accurate.

    I seem to remember RW actually compared the software with other methods - trundle wheel, bike computer, car, pedometer - and Accuroute won.

    I love it. (sad)

  • It seems to me things have worked quite well for you so far. So why change ?!?!? Yes, you've guessed it: I don't know my own distances either. I just go by times and how the old body feels.

    But if you insist on finding out, there will be lots of people (in addition to fruitbat) coming along shortly, and who will tell exactly how to do it.

    Happy running (with or without that knowledge!).
  • I use I look up the starting point, then use the tapemeasure button to measure, but I run on regular streets, so I'm not sure if it would be accurate enough to use in a park. Worth a try, though.

  • Tibby
    I am SO glad to hear someone else with same dilemma - I managed to convince myself I ran 16 miles in 2hrs 20 mins last weekend, by measuring my park's circumference on the A-Z with a tape measure, but now I'm beginning to think there's no way I could have done that!
    I'd looked into map24 but got stuck at the park entrance coz of course it doesn't recognise the names of the drives and carriageways. But I hadn't spotted the tapemeasure thingy - maybe I'll try that. Otherwise, it's back to running round and round the wretched park for as long as I can, I guess - I hate running beside cars, although I guess I could try running the path along the river...
  • If you haven't got Accuroute, give Trailgauge a try. Its got a lot more features than Accuroute e.g. works out split times, fell grades and other things and its also free.

    Download it from
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