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.
1. Make Every Run a Destination Run
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.
2. Know the Best Off-Hours Locations
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.
3. Run at Night to Improve Your Form
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.
4. And Because It’s Awesome...
“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.