London running guide
Whether you’re staying at 45 Park Lane or The Dorchester, this running route gives you an easy route to help you feel energised and see some landmarks along the way. Taking you through the heart of London’s Hyde Park, you’ll be so entranced by your surroundings that you’ll hardly notice how hard you’re working.
2-mile route (3.2 km)
This route takes you straight into the park and up to the Reformers’ Tree. From here you run west past The Royal Parks head office and then down over The Serpentine. Turn left past the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain and along the edge of the water. Follow the path up to Serpentine Bar & Kitchen and continue on the same route as above.
Landmarks and sights
Serpentine Bar & Kitchen – Situated on the lakeside, you can sit on the terrace and enjoy breakfast, salads, pizzas and more.
Hyde Park bandstand – Built in 1869, this is one of the oldest bandstands in Britain and originally stood in Kensington Gardens.
Reformer’s Tree – This black and white mosaic commemorates the Reformer’s Tree that was burnt down in 1866 during the Reform League riots.
The Serpentine – This 40-acre lake was created at the request of Queen Caroline. You can swim in the lido or hire a boat to row across the water.
Princess Diana Memorial Fountain – This unique memorial, opened in 2004, was designed to show Diana’s spirit and her love of children.
Fitness guru Simon Inman has the following tips for running:
First things first – kit! Do you have a decent, well-fitting pair of running trainers that are less than six months old? If not, now is the time to invest! Go to a running shop which has staff knowledgeable enough to match the right trainers to your gait. While there, stock up on a few basics if they are not in your collection – shorts, leggings, t-shirts and perhaps even a light waterproof jacket. Be sure to try them on in-store to check they are comfortable.
Pre-workout you should focus on mobilisation – this is the process of gently increasing the blood flow to your muscles, lubricating your joints and moving your body into a state where you are ready to exercise safely. It should form part of every warm-up before you get out there and start running. Movements like leg swings, Spiderman steps and squat-to-stands are a good trio to begin with.
It is best to not eat anything a couple of hours before your run. Have a normal balanced meal at least two hours before your run. Try to consume some protein, ideally within 20-60 minutes of completing your session, and have some more protein and carbohydrates as the bulk of your next meal to help your body recover and refuel.
Post-workout is the time to stretch, as static stretching will be more effective when the muscles are warm and malleable. Try to hold each pose for a full 30 seconds, to get the maximum benefit.
London running etiquette
You should always run against traffic, so stay on the right hand side of the road.
If you are running in a group, you shouldn’t run more than two abreast.
If you’re going to overtake another runner, make sure you give them a heads-up so you don’t startle them or crash into them.
Make sure you take any water bottles or rubbish home with you or put it in a bin in the park.
The British weather is known for being unable to make up its mind – one morning it may be sunny, but by the afternoon the heavens might have opened and it could be pouring with rain. If the wet weather gets in the way of your run, both 45 Park Lane and The Dorchester have a fitness centre.