Ever thought that you wanted to go out for a 10 or 15 mile run, but weren’t sure where to go? Have you tried using one of the google mashup services to map out your run, but discovered halfway through that you wanted to change something from earlier in the run but didn’t feel like going to all the trouble of reclicking on each and every point for the turns and intersections?

This is far and away the easiest way to find a running route, and the second easiest way to map a running route after the fact. I’ve created a video showing you how »

(The video may not appear in all feed readers.)

Here are links to the different applications mentioned in the video.

To reiterate the video, the easiest way to create a map of a running route and to measure it is to use a GPS watch and to just download the route directly to your computer or to a website. That does not work as well when planning a route, however, and not everybody has a GPS watch available or doesn’t want to have to worry about running an out and back route or having a run that is too long or too short.

The most common way for creating a running route is to use one of the Google Mashup tools above to figure out where you want to go. The problem with using those Google Mashups, though, is that you have to click on each and every intersection and turn and you can’t easily edit your route without redoing the later stages of your route.

I was trying to help my wife plan out a 15 miler the other day, though, and thought of using a great feature directly within Google Maps itself. Just search for the starting address, click on “Get Directions”, and then type in the same address. You will then have 2 points. Move them apart a little and you can then drag the line between them to waypoints along your route.

Google Maps will automatically figure out the best route to take using each of your waypoints and will display an approximate distance in the sidebar. You can just create new waypoints or move existing ones to quickly and efficiently change your route to something more appropriate.

You won’t be able to easily share your route with others by allowing them to search for them, as you can with most of the mashup sites, and you can’t mark things such as rest rooms or water fountains. You also can’t plan a trail route this way.

For running the roads, though, this can’t be beat. Give it a try, and let me know how it works for you.

Update: One thing that I didn’t mention (because I hadn’t noticed it before it was pointed out to me) is that Google can provide you with the amount of time it would take to walk as well as allowing you to go the wrong way on one way streets as long as you set the toggle for getting directions to walking instead of by car. So that’s an extra click if you don’t want it to detour you around the one way street you want to run up. (Hat Tip: Matt Hartman & Trent Rosenbloom)