Where To Run In Jersey City, New Jersey

The state isn’t the most popular vacation spot in the United States — by far and for good reason — but there are some great destinations if you know your way around. One of those destinations is Jersey City, famous for its boardwalk (and also famous for having its boardwalks swallowed during large storms). Whether you live in Jersey City or are just visiting for a weekend, here are a few great places where you can go for a quick workout.

Although most people visiting New York will stay in New York, Jersey City offers a nearby option for people who’d like a great view of the Big Apple. For one of the most sprawling views you’ll find, head over to The Heights, which you’ll find atop the Palisades. There are plenty of walking paths around from Pershing Field to Washington Park, and you can always run longer and farther if you want to explore more of the city.

Liberty State Park’s views of the cities on both sides of the Hudson are breathtaking. There are over five miles of path for running and walking along the waterway, but there are plenty of paths deeper inside the park as well. This is also a fantastic place to visit for views of the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island. 

New Jersey Hamilton Park is only just over a mile, but runners still come here to jog around the loop repeatedly. Many will leave the park to explore the neighborhood, which has some interesting architecture and quiet roads.

If you want to explore the downtown area, we recommend a route from Newport Path Station toward Town Square Place, and then using Pavonia Avenue to make your way to the Hudson River. This will provide you with about five and a half miles of track, although you’ll have to watch out for traffic when making a number of road crossings. 

Some landmarks to scout out while you run around the downtown area of the city include: the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Newport Marina, the Lefrak Point Lighthouse, the Owen Grundy Park promenade, the Colgate Clock, and Holland Tunnel. We also recommend checking out the 3.2 miles of path along the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway. Want a longer run? Check out the piers or dive into some of the nearby neighborhoods for a hot minute.

Pro tip: Most of the areas highlighted in this article are best enjoyed during sunrise or sunset because of the sprawling vistas.

Pro tip number two: Download a running app before you head out. These will allow you to keep track of where you go to make repeat visits to the places you most want to remember a little bit easier. They also keep track of how far you go and how long it takes you to complete a single mile. Map My Run is a long-time favorite. You can also check out iSmoothRun Pro or Footpath Route Planner if you have an iOS device.

The Best Places To Run In Philadelphia

The city of Philadelphia sometimes maintains a reputation for its lack of cleanliness, but that reputation depends on where — and when — you go. Visit the city in the first days of the spring season, and you’ll feel like you’ve visited a city full of Mary Poppins’ relatives. Everyone will be outside painting already brightly colored buildings or sweeting or hosing something down. And these are the places where you should be running!

Boxers’ Trail is a 3.8-mile trail that can seem under trafficked for how nice it is. You’ll find relative seclusion in a non-urban environment. This is the green tunnel, and that’s why we love it. It begins at Sedgley Woods Disc Golf Course in the south, which is where we suggest you start your run.

We admit that there’s an occasional foul odor because of the water, but the Schuylkill River Trail is a whopping 26.5 miles, which makes it prime real estate for both runners and bikers. What better place to get in shape for your next marathon than the marathon-length trail? There are plenty of scenic views and points of interest along the way.

Head to Bucks County for more great places to run. The Delaware Canal Towpath and Peace Valley Park offer great options for anyone. The Towpath is a great opportunity to get away from the city to enjoy scenic landscapes. You’ll find a trailhead near the Washington Crossing State Park.

Peace Valley Park has a 5.4-mile path around the lack, which is a great place to run during the day if you like the water — and the safety offered by a family-friendly park. Parked nearby? You’ll find plenty of places to sit and enjoy a moment’s rest or a picnic lunch. 

Tyler State Park is a must-visit for those who wish to experience all the natural beauty that individual states have to offer. Tyler is an impressive 1,700 acres in size, with sprawling vistas throughout the park.

Where To Run In New York City

Finding a go-to spot in urban areas can be somewhat of a challenge, but once you know where to run you’ll be there every day — and chances are you’ll meet a friend or two along the way. But urban areas can also present different challenges than those that might be experienced in a more rural or suburban neighborhood, which means you’ll have to take extra care to ensure that where you run is safe. Here are a few great places to run, and a few tips on how to remain safe while you’re away from home.

Roosevelt Island is the former site of the Blackwell Island penitentiary, but now it’s prime real estate for runners. The island is just large enough for a great workout (3.6 miles the entire way around), but there isn’t much traffic if you wanted to explore away from the trail. Best part? It’s scenic, with great sunrise and sunset views across the water to the east or west. 

If you only have time for a short run, we recommend visiting the High Line, a 1.45-mile track above the road. It’s described by city officials as an “elevated park” and it fits the bill nicely. A very scenic way to explore part of Manhattan, and with headphones you can almost trick yourself into thinking that it’s peaceful, too.

Head down to the Bronx to take in Van Cortlandt Park. You’ll be surrounded by the green tunnel the whole way through, but that means the opportunity to forget you’re in one of the biggest cities in the world is at hand. The park boasts a 400-meter track, but there are also plenty of cross country trails through the greenery — 14 miles of them to be exact — and you’ll also find historical significance (George Washington slept in a house nearby).

Because running is still seen as animalistic behavior (deep down you’re either the predator or the prey!), we recommend sticking to off-road bike paths or well-traveled parks. Central Park is the most obvious destination for daytime runners (and we never recommend running at night, no matter how much you like it). Still, unprompted incidents with the authorities have been known to occur here from time to time. If you find yourself the subject of one of these “routine stops,” then it’s time to call a discrimination attorney.

New York is known for its many parks beside the water, and if you like those then you’ll probably enjoy Hudson River Park — but you should know that you’ll find about a bazillion other runners if you go there. You’ll also notice other people enjoying water activities like kayaking. Many outdoor classes are scheduled to take place in this park.

Run along the West Side Highway for views of the George Washington Bridge and Little Red Lighthouse. This beautiful run can become crowded, but it will become more sparsely populated the farther north you go — especially on weekends.

What Kind Of Clothes Should I Wear When Exercising Outdoors?

It might sound like a strange question to ask. Isn’t it obvious? When exercising outdoors, simply dress for the weather! But if that’s all you do, you’re probably not doing your body any favors while you exercise. There’s more to it than that. The shoes you wear can be the deciding factor in whether or not you find blisters when you peel off your socks. The type of fabric you wear can determine whether you feel comfortable or overheated. Here are a few basic tips.

First things first: your feet are of paramount importance, and that’s not an understatement. If you don’t take care of your foundation first, then you won’t be able to continue exercising day after day. Make sure your shoes or boots are built for the right activities. If you plan to go hiking, then wear trailrunners. These shoes will have the necessary traction to ensure a smaller chance of injury. If you’re just out for a run on pavement, the regular sneakers will do. 

But be wary of waterproof footwear. Your feet will usually get wet no matter what — and when the moisture is in, the moistures is staying in. If you find yourself outside in the rain often, then you might develop blisters. Try wearing sock lines to prevent friction between your feet, socks, and shoes. If you’re a long-distance hiker, try airing out your feet about halfway through your hike. This will help keep them dry and prevent peeling of the skin.

Most outdoor exercise leads to sweating, and that means you’ll want to avoid wearing cotton at all costs — it takes forever to dry and will result in near-immediate discomfort once you start to sweat. Synthetic materials will dry fast and are usually more breathable, which will provide you with a more natural feeling experience. Your body and clothing will work in sync with one another to provide a great deal of comfort. Remember: Say no to cotton.

How Exercise Can Be Used To Manage Stress

We live in a fast-paced world — and we’ve become accustomed to it — but that pace has slowed down due to coronavirus-related layoffs. Many of us are stuck at home, unemployed, living paycheck to paycheck, and wondering if we’ll be able to make ends meet. What does that mean for our overall health? Well, stress is through the roof. And that’s bad. 

According to T-P Law, maybe people are “running” away from bankruptcy in the months since coronavirus has spread around the world — literally. Even though many people have no money and must now rely on the government for help, they’re still doing their best to maintain good health for their families. Sometimes, it’s the least they can do.

That’s why exercise is so important, though. It helps relieve stress by increasing your “happy” hormones, which are called endorphins. These chemicals have been called the “runner’s high” and it’s one of the reasons some people actually become addicted to exercise.

Another reason that exercise relieves stress is by actually mirroring the effects. Believe it or not, when you exercise the fight or flight response can be triggered — especially when you’re actually running. Because your body is going through that response, the exercise is essentially helping you to train yourself to endure its effects. That can help you manage stress more effectively when the stressors themselves are real.

Running, swimming, and biking are all types of exercise that will increase overall endurance while improving muscular, cardiovascular, digestive, and immune health. When these benefits combine, you will feel healthier — and because you feel healthier your overall stress level will decline even further. 

Another way exercise helps relieve stress is because you tend to focus more on the movement of your body and less on whatever happened in the recent past. Running is like a temporary vacation from your problems even as they stack up behind you — and the best way to keep that vacation going is to never take time off from exercising. Keep it up every day! This can influence optimistic tendencies and help you remain calm.

Exercising every day will also boost your overall mood. In addition to the aforementioned effects, symptoms of depression should slowly start to decrease. Anxiety will decrease. You might also notice these effects amplified if you weren’t getting good sleep before you began to exercise regularly. Around 8 hours of sleep per night is the recommended amount for adults and can have a huge impact on overall health.

Having trouble falling asleep even after exercising that day? You might be spending too much time in front of a screen directly before bed, which can activate your brain and prevent it from shutting down when it’s supposed to. You can easily figure out if this is the reason by putting down the phone or tablet and turning off the TV or computer an hour before bed. Pick up a book or a newspaper instead. If you find yourself getting to sleep more easily, then it might be time to turn this into a permanent routine!

Is It Safe To Exercise In Populated Areas?

One of the biggest assumptions people have regarding widespread immunization against the novel coronavirus is that it means we can get outside and exercise again without choosing low-risk areas. That popular bike path where people continue to flock during the pandemic? It has to be safe now, right? Unfortunately, that’s not what the scientists say. Part of the reason is that there are still a high number of unknowns surrounding COVID-19.

One of the biggest unknowns is how the variants will affect the push to immunize. The majority of the public won’t have the option to immunize until summer at the earliest, and our health organizations have projected at least another 200,000 dead by early May. If people don’t start taking their health more seriously, this will ultimately come to pass. 

There are several variants out there right now, including one that is potentially deadlier, and one that spreads more easily. These can both lead to higher death counts. The question mark, though, is whether or not the vaccines will be as effective against these variants. The vaccine manufacturers believe that the vaccines will still work, but that perhaps the effectiveness will be somewhat diminished. Something else to keep in mind: we don’t know how long the vaccine immunity lasts.

Scientists have a pretty good idea that coronavirus infection grants the victim a certain level of protection for at least five months or so, but that people are not completely immune. The same is true for vaccines, although the vaccines probably offer better protection. That’s why those who were already infected with coronavirus should still get themselves vaccinated whenever possible. 

Why don’t we know how long vaccine immunity lasts? Well, it’s because of the timeframe. Scientists simply need more time to study.

To answer the first question we asked, you should still be careful when you’re outdoors exercising. Find someplace preferably away from people. Socially distance whenever possible. Wear a mask when you can’t help but cross paths with someone outside of your immediate household.

Walking, Running, And Biking Marathons Aren’t Only For Adults

We encourage people of all shapes, sizes, and ages to participate in long-distance walking, running and biking marathons. Think that there might be a reason not to bother? A physical impairment? A financial liability? Most of these “reasons” are just excuses. You can do anything you put your mind to doing — and you should! Late last month, boy scout troops participated in a half-marathon in Bowling Green, Ohio. They showed us how it was done!

COVID-19 certainly changed the dynamic of the marathon, but several options were still offered by the boy scouts, who helped construct the course: the 10K, Tenderfoot 5K, Virtual Half-Marathon, Virtual 10K, and Virtual Tenderfoot 5K. Gender specific shirts were available for order. 

Know someone who entered the races? You can do a quick lookup and tracking search here.

The boy scouts and their scoutmasters went through a long process trying to get approved to fund and finance a series of races at the end of August and beginning of September, but they were approved through hard work and dedication — and putting into place security features to protect against the possibility of a coronavirus outbreak.

The Bowling Green races were orchestrated without water stops, meaning participants had to carry their own or risk dehydration. Those who were not running were required to wear face masks at all times by city officials. Those who were running were allowed to take them off after the race began. 

Local health departments helped provide pre-race regulations alongside city and state officials. These included successfully providing participants and onlookers with the necessary safety procedures to be followed during the race, providing a variety of registration options for various fitness levels (and also to help spread out the number of registrants to different races conducted on different days to mitigate the chance of coronavirus transmission), and coronavirus screening procedures during packet pickup. There was a 750-person limit on the field.

The race began with participants spread out at least six-feet from one another, and no pre-race announcements were made at the starting line. Sanitization stations were provided for racers and onlookers. In addition, there were no ceremonies conducted after the completion of each race.

Another boy scout troop in Columbus, Georgia biked an impressive 150-mile marathon over one weekend in early October. Racer Benjamin Wicks said, “The first half was kind of rough, but when we got to the half-way point it was all downhill, so it wasn’t that bad.”

How long does one prepare for a 150-mile bike ride? Maybe not as long as you might think! It only took them two months. They too had to deal with coronavirus safety measures in order to conduct the marathon.

Troop 98 leader Brandon McNeely said, “Thankfully, this is an outdoor adventure, so the risk is a little less outside than being indoors. When we meet and do other stuff we were always trying to meet outside. If we met inside, of course we always wore the masks.”

Check out this race from days gone by:

Remembering The Boston Marathon Bombing

This website is about making your average marathon easier and increasing overall fitness along the way — but sometimes it’s important to take a step back and remember past events. The Boston Marathon bombing occurred on April 15, 2013 after two homemade bombs were detonated close to the finish line. The resulting explosions left three people dead and injured or maimed hundreds of others — as they were designed to do.

The two responsible for making and detonating the bombs were chased only days later. One was killed in a shootout and the other was apprehended. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died of his wounds during the shootout and after being run over by his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Both were of Chechen Kyrgyzstani descent but were Americans. Dzhokhar admitted that no one else was responsible for their radicalization and that they were compelled to act because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Although Dzhokhar was tried, convicted, and sentenced to die, a few of those convictions — and the death penalty — have since been thrown out. He will have a new trial eventually but the life sentences he already has mean he will be in prison for the rest of his life.

The terrorist event had little impact on future marathons, and the phrase “Boston Strong” was echoed throughout the country. The Boston marathon continued to take place each year, with an average of 30,000 participants registered to enjoy the run through one of America’s most colonial cities. The bombing had little impact on overall participation.

The 2020 marathon was canceled because of COVID-19 concerns, and whether or not it will still take place in 2021 is anyone’s guess. The same is true of most foot races around the world even as government restrictions loosen. Most of society is proceeding with caution — even if some people here at home believe coronavirus is a massive hoax.

How Often Do Racers Try To Sabotage Other Racers?

Marathon sabotage is mostly a myth, similar in scope to voter fraud — allegations of which are equally unfounded. But it does happen from time to time. Normally, those who set out to sabotage a race will choose a mundane tactic like leading runners off-course to keep them from finishing. Of course, there have been a few instances during which terrorism has sought to injure or maim a large number of people viewing a marathon — like what happened in Boston.

The former strategy was employed by an individual during the “Sai Kung 50,” which takes place in Hong Kong along a popular trail. 

Vlad Ixel was one of those runners who were simply trying to finish and have fun in the process. But someone decided to move trail markers to lead participants off-course. “This was really deliberate sabotage,” Ixel said. “I’ve seen sabotage before but not this bad. It must have been someone who really hates this race.”

Changing the path of a large marathon actually takes some planning. In this case, markers were moved, cables between those markers were cut, and the direction of some arrows pointing runners in the right direction was changed. At least two other runners — Adrien Konareff and Bin Lang — were put off course because of the sabotage. 

In some cases, the runners themselves are accused of misconduct, such as when one man groped a TV reporter on live TV in 2019. He was quickly apprehended and pleaded guilty to sexual assault. It wasn’t the smartest thing for a man to do on camera during the era of #MeToo.

Personal injury lawyer John Hensley wrote, “Some marathon organizers include a release clause that holds the participants liable for any injury they may incur while running the race, whether due to physical limitations, damaged paths, or bystander intervention.” 

Release clauses are becoming more common as contestants try to sue marathon organizers more and more often. Other marathon organizers simply purchase liability insurance for the day of the race in case of lawsuit. 

There are only certain cases during which an organizer might be liable for a racer’s injury, such as when a race is set to run over dangerous terrain. That doesn’t mean you can sue for an injury incurred during a run over rough terrain on a trail race, but it might mean you have legal options if, say, you are injured after tripping over a pothole along a city route.

Contact marathon organizers and local authorities if you suspect sabotage, which is illegal. To reduce the opportunity for injury, take note of the weather and beware of other racers. Many accidents occur at the beginning of a race, when runners set out in close quarters. Give yourself enough time at the start to separate from the pack. Make sure you’re physically and mentally prepared for the burdens of a long-distance marathon race. Build yourself up gradually instead of taking on the race all at once. The most common type of injuries during a marathon are overuse injuries, such as tendonitis. 

Should You Wear A Mask When Exercising Outside?

Most governments haven’t placed many restrictions on outdoor exercise. For example, you might be required to wear a mask when you go shopping — but not when you go for a walk or run. That’s because the science seems to indicate that coronavirus doesn’t spread so easily outdoors, and that your chances of catching it when out for a walk are extremely low. But that really depends more on you.

Whether or not you should wear a mask outdoors should be determined by your actions when outdoors. Are you interacting with other walkers or runners? Then you should wear a mask. Are you hiking on a narrow trail that might force you and another hiker to cross paths in close quarters? Then you should wear a mask. Are you protesting with thousands of like-minded individuals? Mask.

When we say the science “seems” to indicate, keep in mind that there is no real consensus on best practices when exercising outdoors. 

Many athletes or older individuals find that wearing a mask during vigorous exercise restricts breathing, which can be dangerous. 

Larry Holt, who runs Ken Combs Running Store in Kentucky, said that face masks were ridiculous. He was asked whether or not runners who shopped there were wearing face masks. His response? “Oh, gosh no! That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.”

Others have indicated that exercising means a person will be breathing deeper and faster, which could potentially lead to easy infection, or the spreading of the virus. One study concluded that runners and cyclists can spread droplets farther than six feet, the recommended distance scientists and health professionals recommend for social distancing best practices. That means that you should avoid running or cycling behind someone else when outdoors.

Regardless, the right thing for you might not be right for someone else. You might decide to wear a mask or not, but doing so could make those whose paths cross yours more comfortable. (Then again, it could really irritate conspiracy theorists).