Running In London ?

In a weeks time I will be moving to London, I am really wanting to continue running when I get there. For some background I'm a 21 year old girl who is about to start a job with my usual hours being around 8am - 6/7pm. I usually run in the morning in a nice little suburb with fellow runners and dog walkers which after reading this article ( theguardian.com/lifeandstyl... ) I realise I have been pretty lucky with and haven't ever suffered any abuse or felt uncomfortable running.

The area of London I am moving to has quite a good amount of greenery and is a lot quieter than many of the other areas in London which is a positive. I fear I wont be able to run in the morning due to time constraints and will have to start running in the evening. As it gets darker in the winter months I am not sure if it will be safe for me to run on my own ? Does anyone who runs in London have any advice ?

I don't have any friends in the area yet so I don't have a running buddy and I would love to join a running club but it seems most of them start around 6pm which makes it difficult for me to attend :( I am probably overthinking it but I just want to be able to go running and still feel safe :(

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  • I live in London and run along the canals where there aren't any streetlights so I wouldn't run there after sunset, meaning Winter evening runs will be ruled out. But even in winter if you run early in the morning there is plenty of daylight and they feel very safe. As there are so many boats around you don't feel isolated and vulnerable, people are pottering around and walking their dogs, taking their rubbish out etc, it all feels active and busy. Parks are often pretty busy in the morning too, and some have streetlights making them good for evenings, you'll just have to explore your nearby parks to find out. But watch out lots of them get locked up earlier on Winter evenings. Re running clubs, my one starts at 6:30 in the Olympic Park, so maybe look around for ones in slightly different parts of London to see if any start at a time you could make, maybe a little travelling is needed but you'll find one that starts at a later time. Also, how about parkruns on Sat mornings? There are loads in London. Hope that helps and gives you lots of ideas, Ruth :)

  • I was going to say park runs as well. It's a great meet and greet start to see what is offered for running in your area. I live in london and have the choice of two nearby. I run early morning and mid morning. Depending on work. I see runners at all times. The best thing is to have a bus ride round your local area at a time you would like to run and see how many are out there and where they run at that time. I personally feel safe running round my neighbourhood but then over the years it is not big scary London anymore, it's my home, as time goes on you find London becomes smaller and more like little villages. Happy running.

  • My friend lives and runs in London. In fact, when I went to visit I saw many more runners than my neck of the wood (North West). Judging on my experience I think you should be fine. Just take adequate safety precautions as you would living anywhere. Happy running! :-)

  • Welcome to London! While it's certainly worth being careful, I don't worry too much about running in my neighbourhood (NW6). I always see other runners around, even at 6:30AM. No one has ever said anything to me - though I half expect it all the time, having read articles like the one you posted, and heard stories from other runners.

    I'm thinking of joining a gym in the winter so I can run on the treadmill - though this is more to do with the way cold air affects my asthma, not because I don't feel safe running in the dark.

    In terms of fitting in a run around your long work hours - some people pop all their things in a backpack and run home from work. Saves on the tube fare, too. I've never done that; it gets very busy on the streets where I work.

    Also, yes, parkrun is great. You can find a map of your local options here: parkrun.org.uk/events/events/

    And when you get there, you'll probably be able to get good advice on routes from other local runners.

  • Running home from work is a good idea.

    I don't know about your neighbourhood (I'm in N5, previously N1) and the good thing about London is that there are always a lot of people around, so I never felt unsafe running at 6am. If you get a high vis running gear and find a semi-busy route, you will be fine.

    Plenty of Parkruns to choose from as well.

  • Thanks everyone for the advice, feeling better about the prospect of running in London. I have been looking at park runs and I am considering trying the one in Greenwich park :)

    I would also love to run from work but it's 4 miles and i'm just not at that point yet :P

  • What area of London are you moving to? I live in SW, so I run round Battersea Park and down Chelsea Embankment and occasionally run with the Sweaty Betty group in Clapham/Wandsworth!

    Run home from work when you can, it's so much cheaper than getting the tube every day!

  • A jog group is a good idea for running over the winter. As well as Sweaty Betty run group, the other running shops do the same thing, eg Sweat Shop. Your local authority web site will probably have details of jog groups that they organise locally too. It might be called JogLondon or something along those lines. I think safety in numbers for running in the dark is a good idea. Someone at Parkrun will probably give you all the dope

    Good luck

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