Heading to New York City for the first time can be a little overwhelming. Do I shop first or go to the Statue of Liberty? Should I pay to go to the top of the Empire State Building or save my money to see a Broadway show? Do I go to the Today Show or Good Morning America, and most importantly how can I get on TV?
With so many questions, rest assured that one thing can be certain: you need to run in Central Park! From a fellow first timer, here are a few tips:
- Go Early. Though the park is closed to traffic most of the day; weekends included, there’s something extra meaningful about getting out with New Yorkers themselves before they head off to their busy days and before you gear up for a day of sightseeing. Check out: Finding Motivation to Run in the Morning
- Look at a Map. The full loop of Central Park is 6.1 miles, which means if you get lost, you could end up running further than you bargained for. CentralPark.com offers running tips that might help you choose a route suitable for your training and fitness level.
- Be Patient. If you choose to walk/run to the park, know that you’ll be stopping at plenty of intersections along the way. Enjoy the sights and sounds—you could pass through Times Square if you plan your route right!
- Bring a Camera. You’ll see things you recognize from the movies—the zoo from Madagascar or maybe the tree-lined laneway in so many films—and you’ll want to prove to your friends you were there.
- Watch and Learn. If you’re not sure where you should be running, find a fellow runner and follow along. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the sights and find yourself running against the majority of other runners. Technically, you’re supposed to run against the bike/car traffic, but even some New Yorkers break this rule.
- Smile. Forget about mile splits and heart rate zones and enjoy where you are. Have one of those runs that reminds you of why you love running in the first place.
About the Author: Cheryl Madliger is a group fitness instructor at the Western Student Recreation Centre at the University of Western Ontario, where she is working towards her degree in Kinesiology. An avid cyclist, Cheryl has set her sights on completing an Ironman. Not a fan of free time, she also enjoys yoga, baking, and blogging.