Fourteen of Australia’s best places to run

Running is a beautiful and highly personal experience, but let’s face it, most of us would prefer to pound out the kilometers on a scenic coastal path or winding bush track than a city street or industrial estate.

If you’ve ever wanted to expand your running horizons, here are 14 amazing runs around Australia sourced from personal experience, that of fellow runners, race directors and the ever-useful Cool Running forums.

There’s a combination of road and trail runs, the latter often the most scenic and sometimes technically challenging. If you want to impress an overseas visitor, or you’re heading interstate for a holiday and want to build some good runs into your itinerary, read on.

Remember if you take to the trails, dress appropriately for weather changes, especially in winter, take your own hydration source and some back-up nutrition.

Just as importantly, purchase running shoes from a retailer such as The Athlete’s Foot that will keep your goals and running style in mind when determining the best fit, brand and style.

Queensland

Mount Coot-tha.Mt Coot-tha

Just 5km from the Brisbane CBD, Mt Coot-tha has 18.5 kilometres of tracks ideal for running. Start from either JC Slaughter Falls or Simpson Falls picnic areas. The river city is also well endowed with shared bike paths so if you’re staying in the CBD, it’s easy to drop onto a path for a scenic river run away from traffic.

Noose Heads.Noosa National Park

Start from Main Beach on Hastings Street and follow the timber boardwalk to the entrance to the National Park and then onwards via the coastal Tanglewood track out to Hells Gates and back via the inland bush track for a total run of about 10km. For a longer run continue on to Alexandria Bay.

NSW

Manly Cove.Spit to Manly

In Sydney, the Spit to Manly 10km run starts at the Spit Bridge in Mosman’s Middle Harbour and ends at Manly Cove. It’s a combination of track and road plus a bit of beach, easy to follow and with views all the way. Take your camera and finish in Manly for breakfast/lunch.

Oaks Fire Trail.Blue Mountains

Park at Glenbrook, catch the train to Woodford and then run the Oaks Fire Trail back down. It’s 25km, with the final 11km downhill to Euroka camping ground, which is about 5km from Glenbrook station.

Centennial ParkCentennial Park, Paddington

You can do the 3.6km internal loop that follows the road and runs parallel with the horse-riding track, or follow the park perimeter for a quieter, more peaceful run through a variety of vegetation and wetlands.

Royal National ParkRoyal National Park

The Royal in Sydney’s south is a trail fiend’s paradise, and the jewel in the running crown is the 26km Coast Track that stretches from the village of Bundeena in the north to Otford in the south. You can do the whole thing in one hit but, be warned, there are some significant climbs that will test the fittest. Alternatively, break it up into sections and enjoy the mix of cliff tops, beaches, open grasslands and forest. Carry your own water and food.

Victoria

tmm, may, 2013, fitness, pic by daniel mahon
The Tan, South YarraThe Tan

In Melbourne, the 3.8km Tan track is mostly forgiving packed dirt, predominantly flat and starts near the Swan Street Bridge. It follows a scenic route along the Yarra River, and skirts the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Kings Domain with options to divert and add some distance. It’s close to CBD hotels without hitting much traffic.

Mount Oberon.Wilsons Promontory

The Prom National Park’s Mount Oberon summit track is a 6.8km return route with a mixture of some steep sections and steps. The summit view is of the southernmost point of Australia’s mainland. Start from Telegraph Saddle car park.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Kings Park.Kings Park

The Perth CBD landmark has myriad trails, not to mention Jacob’s Ladder – 250 steps of fun climbing, rewarded with great views and a sense of being well away from the city when in fact you’re not.

Lake MongerLake Monger Reserve

Has a 10.4km flat track through picturesque wetlands. It’s less than 5km from Perth with ample parking.

South Australia

Glenelg beach pier.Glenelg

On the coast just 11km from the Adelaide CBD. Catch a tram there and run the 8km loop, following the coast path from Glenelg Pier to Brighton Beach. Plenty of good cafes and diversionary options along the way.

Tasmania

Mount Wellington.Mount Wellington

The mountain behind Hobart has many running tracks easily reachable by car from the CBD. You can follow the road for 22km to the summit, or take the many fire trails or walking tracks. Try the 7km Springs to Lenah Valley route.

Northern Territory

Mindil Beach, Darwin.Darwin

The Esplanade at dusk offers spectacular sunset views, and on to Mindil Beach to a bike track that follows the coast to the East Point Reserve, about 10km from the city.

ACT

Lake Burley Griffin.

Lake Burley Griffin

The perimeter shoreline is 40km, but the run around it can be abbreviated or easily added to. It’s an all-bitumen shared pathway, nearly all flat, and passes by national institutions such as the High Court and the National Portrait Gallery.

The article is sponsored by The Athlete’s Foot, now stocking the New Balance 1260v5.

Pip Coates|Jul 9 2015

How to Squeeze Workouts Into Your Business Trip

[Original Article]

Whether you love traveling for work (When else do you get a free hotel room all to yourself?) or hate it, one thing’s for certain: Traveling wreaks havoc on your schedule.

This is especially true when it comes to your fitness routine — when you’re trying to stay on top of emails between those all-day meetings and client dinners, it can be hard to find the time to work out.

The good news is, with a few key supplies and a bit of planning, you can easily bring your workout with you. Here’s your three-step plan for staying healthy on the road.

Pack the Right Tools

First things first: If you’re going to have any chance of exercising while you are traveling, you’ll need to have the right tools with you. Here’s what I always make sure to bring:

  • Attire: Start by packing your exercise outfit. That’s right — you only need one. Choose lightweight workout clothes that will dry fast. That way, you can hand wash them in the sink, and they’ll be dry by morning. Also, pack your running shoes (though sometimes, when I am trying to squeeze everything into a carry-on for a short trip, I just skip the running shoes and plan to do a yoga or Pilates workout barefoot).
  • Yoga Mat: Pack a thin yoga mat that weighs no more than two pounds and folds into a small square. It takes up hardly any room in your suitcase, and I guarantee it will be more sanitary than a hotel room floor.
  • Resistance Band: You obviously don’t want to pack weights, but a resistance band will allow you to do an endless number of strength exercises. A band with handles in a resistance that will challenge you will give you the most variety.

Make a Plan

Plotting out when you’ll actually fit in your workout (and what you’ll do) ahead of time is the key to making sure it happens. So, when you’re on the plane, take a few minutes to review your schedule and find time for your workout each day. Maybe you could hit the gym on a long lunch break between meetings, or, if you have a couple of days that are back-to-back, make time in the morning to go for a run before things get started. I encourage you to add it as an appointment in your calendar.

As far as what to do, there are more options than you might think while you are on the road. Check and see if your hotel has a fitness center or pool. (If not, you can always run the stairs; pretty much every hotel in America has a staircase.) If you’re a member of a large national chain gym, there might even be a location close to where you are staying. Or, if you’re a runner, try a scenic run and see some sights while you exercise.

If you don’t have access to a gym or are crunched for time, you can still get a great workout in your hotel room. There are lots of online video-based programs that you can do with just the internet. My site, Tailored Fitness, helps you build a workout that is tailored to your goals, schedule, and preferences, just like you’d build an iTunes playlist. Some of my other favorites are StreamFit, The Daily HIIT and My Yoga Online.

Be Active

If you feel like your daily workouts aren’t quite enough to counteract all that sitting you’re doing, try to incorporate extra activity in other ways.

For example, walk as much as you can. Rather than sitting and waiting for your plane to board, walk back and forth through the airport. On breaks or after your workday, explore the area surrounding your hotel on foot. And unless you are lugging your suitcase, try to take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator whenever possible.

A great way to track your activity and keep yourself motivated is to wear a pedometer or other activity tracking device, like Fitbit or Nike Fuel Band. Set a goal to reach 10,000 steps each day.

That’s it — a three-step plan to help you stay fit on the road. Just like any exercise routine, it will take some planning ahead and discipline, but keep the benefits in mind. Staying active will help you combat jet lag and feel better throughout your trip. Plus, when you arrive home, you won’t have missed a beat in your fitness routine.

Want to plan your workouts on the road? Try a free 30-day trial of Tailored Fitness. Sign up now or try a free workout (by clicking the link you agree to our Terms of Use).

Image: Psoup216/Flickr

This article originally published at The Muse here