Fancy a Run?

In London there are many different outlets for exercise–anywhere from the cheap and natural way of running outside on the streets to becoming a member of any of the hundreds of gyms or even taking part in any of the running events that are held year-round throughout London.  You can even decide on the intensity of the events–anything from a 5k for charity to the rigorous but world-renowned London Marathon.  But more on those later.

So fancy a run outside?  There really isn’t much to explain here.  Just put on some running clothes, find some shoes and grab that iPod and head to the streets, park, river, canal, etc and just go for it.  Up in Angel, I prefer to jog either down to Clerkenwell up to King’s Cross then back to Angel or I like to run along the Canal.  I’m trying to work my way up to running to Broadway Market and back.  So far I’ve made it halfway there before I desperately need to turn back around of fear of imminent collapse.  Either way, mix it up so you get to see new streets and new places that you wouldn’t have known existed before.  You can also track you run, get ideas for new runs or find running groups or clubs in your area at any of these websites:

Nike Plus

Run.Com

Map My Run

Now on to the gyms.  C and I also belong to a gym–Fitness First.  One thing to know about London is that there are the chain gyms and then there are you local independent gyms and then you have you council leisure centres.  As you probably can guess the price will go down from the chain–independent–leisure centres in most cases but so will the quality of equipment and facilities.  My dream gym would be the Virgin Active gyms.  These chain gyms just have that something extra to make the whole pain of going to a gym bearable.  There are pools, saunas, steam rooms, and a wide variety of classes and equipment.  The only downside is that the price is not for those sticking to a budget at all and you may need to provide your own lock for a locker.  Oh there is also a cafe and wi-fi.  Fitness First on the other hand has a diverse set of classes and loads of equipment including cross-trainers and treadmill with personalised tvs so you’ll never miss an episode of the Apprentice or Britain’s Got Talent.  However, only a handful of them have pools if you the type who prefers to do your exercise in the water.  C and I are still quite please with the gym and really don’t have any complaints and the price is still reasonable for us.  Another chain is LA Fitness but I really don’t know anything about the quality or membership price.  However, you can also try a local independent gym…just do a google search or take a look a this Time Out list of the best gyms to see if there are any near you.

Time Out Best Gyms

Lastly, the leisure centres.  In most cases these will be the cheapest but depending on the council and the quality could go either way.  So make sure you do research before committing to a membership by checking out all the options and prices and think rationally about how far you are willing to travel to go to a gym.  Also, it is worth waiting to get a promotion, so keep your eyes peeled!

Ok, now we are on to my favourite part–the events!!!!!!  Fancy a 5K, 10k, mini-triathlon, full triathlon, half marathon or full marathon?  Well London has it all.  I’ve never participated or even competed before in any fitness event in my life but this year I will do the Adidas Women’s5k  Challenge in September for a charity and today I just signed up for the Tree-athlon at Battersea Park.  Maybe next year I’ll work myself up to doing a half marathon but we’ll see.  Below are  just some of the many events you can get involved with or look into running on behalf of a charity.  If you’re a true champion you might want to enter the London Marathon which runs in April.  It is one of the top 5 marathons in the world raising millions for charities and with over 35,000 runners and celebrity runners and those running in full out costumes (enjoy the pictures at the end).  The 2010 London Marathon will now by sponsored by Virgin and the ballot has already closed for next year so if you fancy running you’ll have to wait to 2011. To check out some of the events see the list below.  Good luck!

Adidas Women’s 5k Challenge

Tree-Athlon

London Marathon

Cancer Research UK 10k

London Triathlon

Royal Parks 1/2 Marathon

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