Running like a Londoner
Written By: Michael A Bukur
One of the best ways to get acquainted with London is by strapping on your trainers and
exploring the city on foot. However, urban running can be intimidating, especially in a new city.
But be not afraid of running outside! Below are a few tips for running around London town.
- Be aware of cars
Traffic in London is unlike New York. Sometimes which direction to look is written on the
pavement of pedestrian walkways, but even so, I’d make looking both ways a habit. J-running
can be done, but added caution is required. Further, stick to running on the sidewalks as most
main streets are too narrow and crowded to accommodate runners alongside cars and
2. Main streets make for easy routes
Heading west or east in North London is best facilitated by the Thames Path or Euston Road.
Woburn Place is a great option for traveling north or south of North London. Following Woburn
Place south, you’ll find yourself nearly to the Thames, and following it north allows access to
Camden and eventually splits northwest toward Hampstead and northeast toward Kentish Town,
both neighboring the park Hampstead Heath.
3. Explore the parks
Parks can be a great way to freshen up your running routine, explore, and provide relief from
the London traffic. Some parks are a short tube ride away, but there are also a few within
running distance of NYU London. North of the Thames, I’d recommend Regent’s Park, Hyde
Park, and Hampstead Heath. South of the Thames there are a number of smaller parks including
Battersea Park, Clapham Common, Brockwell Park, and many more. You should explore as
many parks as possible and choose the one that appeals to your running style and taste the most.
4. Grab your rain gear
Weather in London is notoriously rainy. Don’t let this put a damper on your running habit.
Combat the rain with a thin, windbreaker to wear as your outer layer. Additionally, a running
hat can help keep the rain from your face if it is raining especially hard. The wetness can do a
number on your running gear, so if you do happen to get wet, be sure to put all wet items out to
dry or throw them in the wash to avoid mold and persistent odor.
5. A healthy runner is a happy runner
Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting, it’s important to carry on a healthy practice
of the sport. Running in a new city can be hard, thrilling, scary, and much more. Amidst all of
the emotional and physical change a new place can bring, be sure to take a few moments every
day to check-in with your body and assess how you are feeling.
Get out there, get running, and see what London has to offer. Who knows, you might even find
yourself registering for a 5K, 10K, half or full marathon by time London is done with you.