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4 Tactics to Amp Up Your City Running

Take it to the streets with these expert tips from the coolest man on concrete: Knox Robinson, Nike+ Run Club coach and captain of the urban running squad Black Roses NYC.
4 Tactics to Amp Up Your City Running
Andrew Cutraro

It's easy to get side-tracked when you're running through a city—either your own or a new one. With endless distractions like stop-and-go traffic—to say nothing of stray dogs or potholes—it's difficult to focus your form, energy, and mind on the task at hand—er, legs.

So we asked Knox Robinson, Nike+ Run Club coach and captain of the urban running squad Black Roses NYC, for hi top tips for taking your run to the streets. 

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A city means lots of streets—and lots of routes. So take advantage and run from Point A to Point B, not A to A. Says Robinson, “I’ll map out a route to the beach and run there, soak in the ocean, then have a meal on the boardwalk and take the train home.” You’ll always find it exciting—which, let’s face it, is the world’s best motivator.

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The most crowded business districts are guaranteed to be crowd-free deserts at night and on the weekends. “Financial districts and business parks are all great,” Robinson says. So map a route along Wall Street on Sundays and enjoy the wide-open glory of beautiful, quiet, safe skyscraper canyons.

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Darkness reduces your vision a few feet in every direction, narrowing your focus and calming your senses (and, in a neat trick of perspective, giving you the feeling you’re going super-fast). Take advantage of this lack of distractions by leaving behind headphones and concentrating instead on breath, stride, and other real-time aspects of your running.

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“I really dig running at night with sunglasses on,” says Robinson, who swears it helps him focus. He runs in yellow-tinted lenses that “heighten the sensory experience when it’s more desolate than it is in the daytime.” Give it a try—but first make sure you’re cool enough to pull it off.

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