3 Urban Runs Every New Yorker Should Try (At Least Once!)
Here at mindbodygreen, we consider the great outdoors to be the best gym for working up a sweat and meeting friends, not to mention exploring new grounds. Since we’re based in New York City, we think of the streets, sidewalks and bridges as the most exciting gym in the world.
Here, we’re sharing our three favorite trails that mix the city landscape with the cooling breeze coming off the rivers, and next we want to hear from YOU! All this month, inspire us, challenge us and get us moving by showing us your favorite urban trail. Tag #MyUrbanTrail, @adidasrunning, and @mindbodygreen for a chance to have your photo be one of five featured on mbg's Instagram.
Brooklyn Waterfront Run
1. Call us biased, but this Brooklyn waterfront run is our absolute favorite because it ends at the mbg HQ. Shorter than the others, this 1.2-mile run includes stunning views of downtown Manhattan, as well as more BK greenery than you’ll find anywhere outside Prospect Park.
2. Brooklyn Bridge Park is an incredible addition to our favorite borough, and to soak up all its goodness, we’re warming up at Pier 6. Hold on to the fence surrounding the pier for a series of leg swings. Stand strong on one leg while swinging the other from the far left to the far right. Repeat 20 times on each side.
3. Greenway Terrace at Pier 3 is the perfect spot to stop for some shade, but we encourage you to grab a spot on the nearby grass for alternating side planks. Lie on your side with your forearm on the ground, twist your body toward the ground, and then switch arms for a side plank on the other side. Repeat 20 times on each side.
4. Welcome home to mindbodygreen headquarters! Before coming inside to chat with the gang, use the energy emanating from our building to do a few handstands. We recommend using the mbg building to catch your feet as you flip upside down.
East Side River Run
1. The East River Park was once blocked by factories and overgrown lots, but the city recently redesigned it, making it one of our favorite runs in the city. This 3-mile route, starting at 14th Street, offers the best views of the Brooklyn Bridge on one side and athletes playing baseball, tennis, and football on the other. The run itself is on even ground, but it ends with a final push as you climb the iconic bridge.
2. After a quick warm-up, stop at the 6th Street track to really get your heart pumping. You’ll likely get an extra jolt of inspiration from the local and collegiate run clubs that also train on the track. Start with a 200-meter sprint followed by a 200-meter lunge workout. Repeat twice before getting back on the road.
3. Next stop is the East River Park Amphitheater, where you’re the star of your own fitness story. If possible, hop on stage and get ready to work your arms with plyometric push-ups. Start as you would for a standard push-up, but then explode upward, so that your arms fly above the ground. Catch yourself to cushion your fall. Go for 30 seconds, rest for one minute, and then repeat for 30 seconds more.
4. We’re ending this run with one of the best views in the world. Jog up the Brooklyn Bridge and throw a high five to one of your fellow bridge runners before finding a spot where you can hold on to the pedestrian fence. Turn your feet to a 45-degree angle with your heels together. With your spine tall, rise to the tops of your feet, bend your legs over your toes, and straighten your legs. Repeat 20 times. It’s a ballet-inspired workout in the coolest possible setting.
West Side Highway Sunset Run
1. Save this West Side Highway run for after work, as you’ll be treated to the city’s best sunset, in addition to one of the liveliest river parks in all five boroughs. Among the park’s many piers, you’ll find romantic picnics, outdoor workout classes and water sports. This three mile run begins at 14th Street, across from the historic Jane Hotel, and ends across from the queen of New York herself, the Statue of Liberty.
2. After a warm-up jog along the water, you’ll come to a large fountain just past Pier 45. Although you might long to jump in, use the ledge of the fountain for an arm workout instead. Turn your back to the fountain for “fountain dips,” our outdoor version of chair dips. Place your hands on the edge of the fountain, keep your feet flat on the ground, and bend your elbows 90 degrees as you lower yourself down. Straighten your arms while maintaining an erect back. Do 12 reps, rest for 30 seconds, and do 12 more.
3. While the weather is still warm, you may be tempted to skip the rest of the run for an evening kayak ride offered gratis at Pier 26. Instead, channel that aquatic energy with a series of planks — a favorite workout for swimmers. Begin with a standard plank, and hold for 30 seconds. Then complete a series of planks, each for 30 seconds, lifting each of your arms and legs.
4. Nature will reward you for your hard work with a stunning sunset alongside views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. End your run strong with three sets of 10 squats. Remember to keep your butt back and your knees behind your toes!
Photo Credits: Nico Oscoff and Matt McDonald for mindbodygreen
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