Monday, March 23, 2009

Running in Shanghai

I am not a very good runner, but ever since my two nephews stayed with me during their holidays and got me in the habit of running, I've tried to keep it up. While in Singapore, I usually manage to take at least some moderate enjoyment from running. In Shanghai, not so much.

The worst part of running in Shanghai is the traffic. I don't like treadmills and gyms, so do all of my running on the road. I've found some spots that work, best being using the track at my friend's school. It's some distance to travel, though, and I can't make it as often as I need to if I am going to keep up with my running.

The best I can find, then, is to use the bicycle lanes when on crowded roads, and make my way to some less congested spots. I've found a few, including the parking lot around the stadium near my house (and no, the stadium is not open for just anyone to run). That parking lot can get crowded on weekends, though, so I don't always go there.

Most days, I just end up crossing the highway just south of my house, and then starting from the other side of the intersection. I run anywhere from 2-5 miles, depending on the day, the weather, and how far I think I need to run. There are a few quiet roads, though the path to get there is rather crowded. The bicycle lanes have worked, so far, as a means to get back to the quieter roads, although you do have to be somewhat careful still.

There are several nice parks around my house, but unfortunately, none of them are very suited for running. They tend to be crowded, and there's no way to avoid bumping into people as you run on the twisting and turning paths.

For now, it looks like it will continue to be bicycle paths that link up to quieter neighborhoods. If you are a runner relocating to Shanghai, you might want to spend a few days getting used to the way traffic moves before you try this, but once you get the system figured out, it is a pretty good way to keep up with your running schedule.

Walking, on the other hand, is one of my favorite activities here, and if I can manage to find the time, I often like to take very long walks. The roads are nice, especially those lined with trees, and there are plenty of interesting things to see along the way. It is one of the best ways to get to know the city.

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silken said...

my running routine has really slowed down. I'm so bummed. I did so good prepping for the half and have had nothing but trouble since. between foot pain and vacation, well..... I'm going to a chiropractor for my foot though so hopefully soon!

hifidel said...

Hope you are able to get back on schedule. December was terrible for me, as I got no running done. That made it hard to get started again in January. I'm more or less back on schedule now, but not running as far as I was before my hiatus.

Hope yours gets back to the way you want it soon!!