Running is a great way to feel good physically and mentally. I enjoy it because of the sense of freedom and happiness it brings, plus I love feeling like I’ve achieved something after every run. And it’s a scientific fact that release endorphins when we exercise which make us feel more positive – you can’t argue with science!
It’s also perfect for getting out the house and seeing something new and interesting. At first, I didn’t think Leicester had anywhere particularly nice to run because there’s not much countryside and it’s quite industrial. However, I have now found some great routes involving different parks and the river. So here are my top tips for where to run in Leicester:
This is the perfect place to run if you want a relaxed run. They even have a noticeboard at the top of the park (near where it leads on to the uni campus) telling you the routes for different distances such as 2.5k and 5.k
And of course I have to mention parkrun which happens in Vicky Park every Saturday at 9am. parkrun is a free weekly timed 5k run, completely organised by volunteers. They have them in lots of different cities worldwide. All you need to do is register online, print your barcode and turn up. There’s a great atmosphere, with everyone of all abilities welcome and encouraging each other, and it’s not competitive at all – it’s about running for yourself, not to beat other people.
The River Soar
Run in the direction of the Leicester Tigers stadium, then go down Walnut Street and you get to the river Soar. It’s nice to run alongside, although you’ll have to dodge the pathway a few times if, like me, you don’t like pigeons and geese! It also stretches quite far so is good if you fancy a longer run.
To get to Abbey Park, I run along the river until it gets to the bridge, then cross over and follow the signposts. Abbey Park is a large and beautiful park, with a big lake, the archaeological site of the Abbey, a sensory garden, a miniature railway and much more. It’s lovely to run around and feels like an escape from the busy city.
Follow the directions of how to get to the River Soar, but instead of turning to go along the river simply run straight down Upperton Road. Continue along this road to the end then turn left onto Braunstone Avenue and keep going straight until you come to the park. This is another big park with a small lake and lots of grass area and woodland paths.
Of course you can run almost anywhere, that’s the beauty of running, but these are the places that I’ve found and enjoy. Running is a great way of exploring a new area and finding spots that you might not otherwise go to.
Let me know if you have any routes you like to run, walk or cycle in Leicester – I would love to discover somewhere new!