Inspired by the Olympics? Why not get fit and go running
Manchester Running Routes
The Olympics has come and gone, the Paralympics are soon to begin and people are in awe of what they have witnessed. The hype of the athletes has inspired the generations across the world. What's my point? People are beginning to try sports, and by that I mean there are more and more who usually stayed away from the idea that are now beginning to give it a go.
When I was down in London last week, I witnessed pavements full of runners - not the athletes we saw on TV, but regular people like you and me who decided to go on a run after work. People have been doing this a long time, but for those of you who haven't, there is no better time to start. I digress. Living and studying in Manchester means that I have gotten to know some great running routes. Particularly when I run in the evenings I like well lit areas with a good amount of people, but not enough to feel like I'm in the spotlight.
For your convenience, I have compiled a detailed list of some of the good running spots around where I live. These cater from complete novices to the more experienced runners.
Beginner Runs: 1-2 Miles If you're just starting out, then the last thing you want to do is push yourself too hard, injure yourself or feel so awful after the run that you never go back. Have a look at a park near you and try and map a route that will be useful to you. In my case, Platt Fields park is the most convenient.
The positive of park running is that you can essentially make yourself a circuit, that you can repeat as many times as you feel necessary, without having the burden of 'biting off more than you can chew' that you might experience on a larger circuit. In this case, Platt Fields Park is a quiet with enough people to make you feel more at ease. For those of you around the Fallowfield area, I highly recommend this as a running option.
Intermediate Run: 3-5 Miles Whilst at University my favoured route was to use the Fallowfield Loop with a bit of the housing areas I was living in. The advantage of cities is that whilst they don't have as many footpaths as the countryside, they have blocks. These are a good way to map your run, effectively you can run in one giant square or in a series of squares depending on the distance you wish to travel.
Admittedly these are hardly 'square' so to speak, but what is important here is how easy the routes are to make. Running along main roads ensures that they are well lit (which is great for those who run in the evening) and it also means that nobody in their cars is really going to be paying attention to you for much longer than 3 seconds. There are always pavements in the cities and generally the terrain is flat, so they make for great routes.
Now that you have the basic idea of route planning, you can put it into practice for the long distance runs. Try to keep in mind where you will be running, for some people the thought of being seen running is a major turn off. Always remember that there are routes that are safe whilst being secluded. Running is something many people enjoy, it doesn't have to be a chore as you may begin to pride yourself on your fitness.
Manchester offers some great opportunities to run, for both novice and the experienced runners.