How are those New Year’s Eve resolutions going? Because mine are fine. I’ve decided to start jogging and, when I put my mind up to something, there’s nothing that can stop me. Not even Mother Nature with her freezing-cold weather tricks.
I’d even go as far as to say that she motivates me to keep going as I explore new sides of my favorite city in winter. The ones I never noticed earlier because I thought it was too cold to get out there.
That said, winter jogging takes a lot of prep work and an appropriate attitude. And, while I can’t help you out with the latter (yeah, that one’s on you), I’ll do my best to walk you through the how, why, and where.
Any workout takes preparation. Jogging in the cold, snowy streets of London crank it up to eleven.
That said, there isn’t a challenge that can’t be overcome by the combined forces of your mind, spirit, and fitting sports gear.
- Make sure that your head and hands are warm. You’d be surprised, but your arms and your thinking cattle are the primary means of heat leaving the body. In simpler words, you’d be warmer in a hat, gloves, and undies, than in a warm coat, but without head and arm gear.
- Don’t leave your home without Base Layer both top and bottom as they are the bread and butter of jogging in winter. Why? A – they keep the heat in and the moisture as well as cold out, and B – running in a fur coat isn’t something I’d call comfortable 😉
- Shoes with good traction are a #musthave pickup. What can I say? It’s slippery outside.
Now that you are all geared up, pumping, and ready for action, there is but one thing that’s keeping you away from admiring the gorgeous, snow-filled views of the Smoke – warmup.
The warmup itself is nothing special. Do a stretch or two, flex for like 5 minutes or so. You know, the usual stuff. What is important though, is the fact that you have to do it inside. This way, when you’ll eventually get out into the cold, your muscles – still pumped with hot blood – won’t feel a thing.
Ok, that’s a lie. You will still feel rather chilly before you actually start running, but chilly is way better than freezing-cold, am I right?
Best jogging routes
Now we’ve gotten ourselves to the best part – the best jogging routes the Smoke has to offer. Brace yourself, because you are in for dozens of stunning sights, a whole load of Instagramable hot spots, and a series of intense workout sessions that will get dat bod ready for summer in no time.
- Hampstead Heath. This route starting at the Merton Lane and going all the way around the park is an intense, stamina-building exercise. The run is a 4.8 miles long experience that involves a lot of hills and forest areas and amazing views of a snowy park that stood here for more than 800 years. Just imagining the secrets it hides gives me goosebumps.
- Primrose Hill and the Regents Park. This is a somewhat shorter run of 2.1 miles that’s perfect for beginners. You’ll kick things off at the York Bridge and turn for a nice little loop around Primrose Hill at the Ormonde Terrace. Why here? The view of London from the hill is simply breathtaking.
- Finsbury to Alexandra Palace Park. This 5 mile-long run will make you follow an abandoned railroad that has become a woodland. You’ll see statues of amazing designs and some pretty rare trees on your way to the Alexandra Palace. Rare trees, fascinating sculptures, and the abandoned railroad make this rout an Instagramer’s wet dream.
- Banks of the Thames. This is probably the best imaginable route for a quick run regardless of the direction you choose to go. You’ll always have the roaring might of the beastly Thames on one side, and an even mightier city on the other. You get to experience the “iconic” London while keeping up with your cardio so I can’t find any downsides to running here. Can you?