If you are living and enjoying the city lifestyle you know that despite the fast pace and multitude of activities it can be tricky to keep up your running regime if you are unsure of where the available running routes are and at which time of day is best to fit around your work schedule. So to help you find the best options for a running route or trail we have put together a helpful guide to Running in the City of things to look for.
Find where to go Running
The best thing to do is find the closest or most accessible place to go running where you live; or alternatively the easiest of your preferred route type to get to. One recommended option is to join a local Running Club in your area as they will not only know all of the best routes but will have regular routes and events that you can take part in.
Roads & Pavement
Finding a route around nearby streets is an option preferably if they are smaller side streets as there is always a risk of traffic on busier main roads and highly populated areas of any city. Of course transport, pedestrians and other obstacles like traffic lights and signs for example can still affect your route even on quiet streets so it is advisable to plan ahead and always be aware. Certain times of the day will be quieter and there are types of running clothing and footwear that have reflective details to help you be seen during low lighting.
Green areas & Public Parks
The majority of cities across the world have parkland and green areas; many have dedicated paths and routes that are perfect for running and you may find local running clubs regularly use them as well. A major draw for running in public parks is the respite from the urban sprawl and seeing all the flora and fauna along the route for a more relaxing and energising run.
Training at the Gym
Running at the gym is good option if you can’t avoid busy routes or if the weather turns bad; plus it gives you the option to make use of other training equipment to help with your overall performance. On the down side though is the extra cost and not always being guaranteed that a running machine will be free when you need it.
Being safe while running is an important factor to consider, especially running in the city as an unknown variable of obstacles, traffic and pedestrians so being vigilant of your surroundings at all times is paramount. If you do go running at night be certain to choose clothing with reflective bands and details or even wear a hi-visibility vest and alternatively; if you run with a pack you can get hi-viz covers for them as well. Finally; make sure you keep hydrated at all times whether it’s with water or an energy drink no matter what the conditions are as being dehydrated can quickly become an issue affecting your performance at the very least.
Top UK Cities for Running
England’s capital city has some great and iconic places to run from a number of stunning parks, popular East End routes like the Victoria Park loop which takes you on the canal ending at the Olympic Park and some like the Thames River route will take you past iconic architecture like the Houses or Parliament and Big Ben. A major event of course is the London Marathon in April which is a great achievement to take part in if you wish to train for it. Overall there is something for all runners’ tastes and abilities and over 75 running clubs to choose from as well it’s easy to find help and advice.
Widely thought of as the best running city in the UK; Newcastle is home to over 40 races to take part in including the Great North Run and has numerous terrain from urban sprawl to parklands, green zones, quayside lakes and even routes into the countryside as well. You will find a number of running clubs available as well so there is something for every ability level and preference and much to discover along the way.
There are a lot of historical and picturesque sights around York to see while running around the city and a lot of it is relatively flat with cobbled streets like the Shambles and river towpaths to explore; plus historic buildings like York Minster to see. The Yorkshire Marathon is a must for experienced runners and takes in a number of the key sights along the route and even gives you the option of doing it as a relay team if you’re not ready for a full 26.2 mile run. Also the Yorkshire Dales and Moors are within easy transport reach if you prefer running in the countryside away from the hustle and bustle every so often.
Perfect if you want urban running by the coast; Brighton is ever popular with runners sporting dedicated routes in Preston and Hove Parks and a large number of free running clubs besides the three main ones you can join. There are plenty of hills and the beach to run and the Brighton Marathon (also known as ‘London-by-Sea’) and Brighton Half are held every year which goes past the pier, Big Wheel and the Royal Pavilion.
There are plenty of options for runners in Manchester with over two thousand hectares of green areas, a number of running clubs, dedicated running shops and over 20,000 people signed up for doing Parkruns over the past year. The Bupa Great Manchester Run was the marathon held for the first time in ten years in 2013 and has proven to be a must-run event.
Before you head out Running in the City make sure you have the best possible clothing, shoes and accessories for the best experience.