This week I’m on vacation in Turks and Caicos. This place is what magazines and commercials are made of and I’m loving my time here. But even when I’m on vacation I don’t take a break from working out. One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to go for a run (well, it’s actually to have a few Tito’s and soda—hold the lime—but running has its perks too). You’re in a completely different place and the whole run becomes an exploration of your surroundings. It’s exciting and for me, it’s even more so inspiring, especially when it’s so picturesque.
In a way, running in New York City can be like that. There are countless routes you can take and several different parks you can run in. My favorite route to run starts on 23rd street and 1st Ave. I usually head north up 1st Ave. until I get to 59th street, and then head west to Central Park. After that, it’s a matter of how far I want to run on a given day and what paths I want to take. The loop that goes through the whole park is 6 miles, but of course there are smaller loops you can run too. The nice thing about Central Park, aside from the fact that you don’t really have to worry about traffic and you’re surrounded by trees and grass, is that there are plenty of hills to challenge you along the run.
Honestly, I can’t run the same route over and over. Not only do I get lethargic, but I’ve battled with ADHD since I was a kid, so the more variety there is, the easier it is for me to stay on track. I like to mix up my runs and take other routes to keep my mind engaged. Doing this helps me stick to my routine! On average, including the run to Central Park and back, I’ll fit in about 7–9 miles.
Running in the city can be difficult for some people. I get it. If you’re not near a park, there’s a lot of traffic and stopping at each block can be annoying. It can also be a little unsafe depending on the roads you’re taking and the amazing tourists blocking your path are always fun to navigate through. At the same time, seeing other people out on their runs can be the motivation that you need. Personally, if I see someone and I’m starting to slow down, I’ll use them as a marker to pass before I hit my next mile. It adds a little motivation for me; maybe it’ll work for you.
People often dread running. Try getting out and pushing yourself to take new routes. Go along the West side and check out the Jersey skyline (surprisingly nice), enjoy the trees in Central Park, or see the sunset on the Brooklyn Bridge. It’ll probably make you hate running a little less—not that much less—but enough to stay on track! Remember, routine and consistency is everything!