While the Weather Channel might tell you otherwise, spring has sprung people, and that means it’s time to lace up those sneakers and get back out on the town. New York City provides a swath of awesome (and often underrated) places and paths to mix up your running routine.
Trail fatigue can be a real issue for frequent runners. If you run a path often enough it starts to feel as boring as running on the old high school track – just going round and round in the same circle with no change of incline, ground texture, or scenery.
This could sap the enjoyment out of your run and even subconsciously make you avoid your workouts. The same route over and over again can get dull. You have to keep things fresh and exciting so that you stay motivated to get out there and push yourself a little further. Plus it gives you new things to take in along the way.
As an avid runner, I sometimes feel like I have run every street in New York City top to bottom. Then I talk to a fellow runner or friend and realize I have so much more ground to cover. Sure I keep my favorite loops close to the vest (nobody likes an overcrowded sidewalk), but there are enough routes in this town (just look at a few New York City-based MapMyRun profiles) that I think it’s safe to share a few of my favorites.
If you want to go the distance, check out the Hudson River Park’s greenway that spans 12.3 miles from Battery Park to the George Washington Bridge. You can pull inspiration from the other fitness fanatics guaranteed to be there. The greenway largely runs along the Hudson River Park; a 550-acre expanse chock full of opportunity. As John Friia describes, “Whether heading north towards (and over) the George Washington Bridge or south to Battery Park, the tree-lined stretch along the Hudson River is one of the city’s most picturesque and well traveled running routes. Above 96th Street, the fences give way and you are running right along the grassy banks of the Hudson.”
It can be tough to escape the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, so places like Roosevelt Island makes for an interesting alternative. The island’s eccentric history might make it seem like an unlikely ‘escape,’ but these days it’s much more lowkey. As Erin Kelly says, “Located between Manhattan and Queens, Roosevelt Island makes for a short, flat, and scenic run. As you make your way around the island’s 3.6-mile perimeter, you can take in the scenery of Midtown Manhattan and the Queensboro Bridge without any taxi horns or obnoxious tourists testing your patience — which is very important, because road rage can happen even to the nicest runners.”
While the high line tends to be a tourist hotspot, it’s important to remember that they work on vacation time while you run on New Yorker time. Odds are the trail will be clear of amateur cellphone photographers and spring breakers during your pre-work workout when the park opens at 7AM. This makes it a peaceful place to get a quick, scenic jog in. The path itself only spans 1.45 miles so run it up and back to finalize your 5k times or head into Hell’s Kitchen to wrap things up.