Guide to Running in the City

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

46432-500-4The 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.

Running Safety

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.

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Running Clothing Guide

Choosing the right type of Running Clothing is important as if you make your decision based on what the temperature is at your home location or if the weather forecast isn’t checked before you leave for your route you could end up wearing too much or not enough depending on how the climate changes.  This can affect performance by being uncomfortable if you are too cold or are overheating and carrying too much so it’s always best to research and plan ahead if you’re new to long distance running.


Running Preparation

Getting the most up to date forecast for your intended route is essential especially if it is marathon length and spans miles where there is time for the weather conditions to change as the day goes on whereas for shorter runs it is unlikely to change too quickly making it easier to plan ahead.

Time of year is also another factor to consider as generally during the summertime it will become hotter in an afternoon and during colder seasons it is obviously cooler but more likely to change with wet and windy conditions.

Knowing the conditions and the type of running route you’re going on means you can look at finding the right type of Running Clothing.

Running Clothing

There is a wide range of Running Clothing available that not only suits varying weather conditions but types of run as well with others providing extra support and comfort to work to helping overall performance.  In this guide we have broken down the available clothing into their individual types to make it easier to discover what each can do for you.

Running Jackets

Ideal for colder weather conditions Running Jackets are designed to offer protection from the rain, wind and some can offer differing levels of insulation as well all while being much more lightweight than you would expect.  A lot of the major brands like Montane and OMM use existing or create their own technical fabrics so they use synthetic microfibres that offer protection and tend to be durable and often breathable too.  Many feature adjustable elements for more control over the fit, to lessen heat loss or aid cooling around the hems, cuffs and sometimes hoods as well.  You will find that running jackets still have pockets for essential items plus reflective strips to help increase visibility in low light all in a packable garment.

Running Tops

Both short and long-sleeved tops are available specifically for running and tend to feature elements similar to base layers such as technical fabrics and weaves so that they have lasting durability and commonly have moisture wicking systems so that the more active a person becomes they will still stay cool and dry.  Also included in this are running vest tops which may be a preference for when you want some insulation and protection but allows for more regulated cooling with the arms being exposed.

Running Shorts & Leggings

The main difference when choosing between either running shorts or leggings is basically what the weather conditions are but it may also come down to personal preference as well as a lot of the fabrics and technical features are fairly similar as they need to the same job.  Obviously if the weather is warmer or you will be running a great distance then shorts are a better choice as they will keep you cooler but for colder climates leggings can offer that extra bit of insulation you need at the right time to stay comfortable.

Base & Compression Layers

Base Layers and compression running garments work slightly differently but both tend to be worn under other running clothing as they are extremely lightweight and wear very closely to the skin.  Base Layer tops and shorts from brands such as 2XU, Under Armour and Helly Hansen work to stretch and conform to the natural body shape for comfort and ensuring a full range of motion is maintained while at the same time wicking away perspiration from the surface of the skin so you are left feeling dry and cool.  Compression base layers have the added feature of offering muscle support to lessen fatigue over long-distance runs and marathons by helping to increase blood flow.

Gloves & Socks

Garments like Gloves & Socks dedicated to running aren’t always something you would normally think of but can make enough of a difference to increase your comfort and support as therefore your performance.  Running Gloves are lightweight like all dedicated clothing to the sport but makes all the difference by keeping your hands warm when the weather becomes chilly, plus keeping them dry as well and certain gloves by The North Face even have touch-screen device compatibility making it easy to use your phone.  Running Socks from brand’s like Thorlo, X-Socks and SealSkinz are fairly varied with many of the brands offering different features like breathability, insulation some have arch support and others cushioning or even dedicated abrasion resistant zones so if you know what is likely to occur on your chosen route it’s easy to find a pair that will help make it more comfortable and work with your running shoes.

Choosing the right type of Running Clothing for your needs is important so hopefully this guide will make things clearer in finding the right ones for you with us at Fitness Footwear.

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