A friend recommended this book, Runner’s Guide to London. So I started planning the most interesting runs I could find near me. The apps I use: Nike+ Run, Map my run, and Aaptiv.
My favorite time to run has always been early morning just before sunrise. It’s just a great way to start the day with a nice fasted cardio. I’d always carry a banana in my pocket for the long runs.
Here are my favorite 6 runs in London (in no particular order):
Richmond Park (13 Km)
- One of the most beautiful runs I have ever had. This is a great place to practice those long runs in a quiet and peaceful place with deer roaming on the loose.
- Prepare yourself for steep slopes (200m) on dirt road.
- Start and end from Pembroke Lodge so you can get your water and food post-run.
- I would definitely advise not to run this on a rainy/wet day, or anytime near sunset, when it gets dark, there are no lights near the canal.
- I would also advise against doing this during midday on weekends, as Camden can be a busy area with you dodging people.
- You can run this from Limehouse Basin to Little Venice (Paddington Station) or vice versa.
- One thing I noticed here is the path is not a flat one, It’s tilted and that impacted on one of my knees.
- Running next to the boats was a challenge sometimes, since the smoke bothered my breathing. I learned to change my breathing pattern in that area to stay at my pace.
- Sometimes you have to slow down and crouch a bit going under the bridges and turns at the Canal.
- For the first time, to navigate the diversion near Islington Tunnel, I used Google Maps walking route for directions to be passed on to my ear piece.
- One of the Locks was under repair so there was an additional diversion, but easy to get around. It just means the Canal run isn’t all Canal. You would have to exit the path two or three times.
- My favorite time is running this early morning. I would take the Canal from Regent’s Park to King’s Cross, then go around and return to the run Regent’s Park & Primrose Hill.
- The great thing about these runs is that the parks are so close to each other, you can always plan a different run each time.
Regent’s Park & Primrose Hill (4.5KM + 1.5KM)
- My all time favorite and almost daily run! In rain or shine, day or night, it’s always a good run. Though the lights are very limited at night, so I would suggest wearing a headlight and very visible running clothes.
- I almost skipped this one for some reason. It turned out to be one of my very much preferred long run in the city! Richmond park was a bit far for me and this one was perfectly located and simply beautiful. I actually ran it without following the guided route, just stepped into the park and followed the footpath and runners. Sometimes I had to choose between left or right and that only made it more exciting. Especially when I would find out my decision meant going the longer way around or towards an uphill view.
- Phone signal is extremely weak in various areas in Hampstead, so if you rely on internet connectivity for any of the apps, make sure to consider this.
- Finishing off at Parliament Hill where the view of London is spectacular. Even if you are not a runner, you should’t miss this amazing skyline.
- This was my favorite Sunday morning run. The roads were always empty, the scene was always spectacular. You will pass many tourist attractions, so best to run before 9AM.
- It was easy to figure out my way around, There was one tricky turn I almost missed the first time I went on this run, and there was an undergoing construction that had me rerouting on my own in the city for 1 KM until I found my way back. It was fun nonetheless.
- First time I ran this one was funny as I almost got locked and trapped in the park. I did not know the closing hours of Hyde Park and luckily found my way out and continued the run around the park.
- After that, I definitely stuck to doing my runs early morning as usual, and steered away from weekends when the parks are busy.