“City Runs” is a series that I’ve recently introduced to my blog. I visit different cities at home and abroad and give some recommendations for the best places to run. Hopefully this will inspire you to get you outside and give you a great active experience in that city, should you ever choose to visit.
In this edition of City Runs, I visited Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. You might be thinking Slovenia? Really? Hell yes, Ljubljana is a small city with huge personality. With a gorgeous river running through the centre surrounded by vibrant bars, restaurants and a huge castle, all within a two-hour flight from London, it’s the perfect weekend break with potential to be a great City Run. The dirt cheap return flights also help.
I mixed City with scenic in this City Run, I took a stroll through the City until I reached Tivoli Park, took a run through the park and then continued the run back through the city, alongside the river to my apartment. Given that the City is a small one, it makes it the perfect place to run if you want to experience different vibes and surroundings during one run.
Tivoli Park has two parts. The park itself and then a huge forest which is open to explore that backs on to it. The park isn’t too big so makes a nice running route for those who don’t want to go too crazy or even just see some nice greenery, a lake and an abundance of cute dogs. With large, Chateau-like houses situated around the park, as well as fountains, bike routes and cafe’s it’s a fantastic place to run.
During my run back through the City to my apartment I passed through the old town and over a few of Ljubljana’s many bridges within view of Ljubljana castle. There’s a lot to be said for getting out amongst nature and gorgeous scenery. It can instantly put a smile on your face and help you forget any stresses. Ljubljana was great for this with the weather being fantastic and the river looking gorgeous, it gave me a lot of enjoyment.
I feel like the initial idea people get in their head about Slovenia or Ljubljana (if they’ve even heard of it) is not overly positive. But it was a fantastic place to visit and run in. Beautiful, inexpensive and not too busy. If you check out my Instagram @matt_tapley, I have spammed it with pictures to make you jealous.
What To Wear
If you read my City Runs: London blog post you’ll know that I went mad for a new pair of Adidas Ultraboost laceless that I wore. I had to use them again in Ljubljana. They’re crazy comfortable and they look awesome. They also doubled up as airport outfit shoes and city exploring shoes. I can’t recommend them highly enough, my two mates, who love to give me a bit of banter, even had to admit they wanted a pair.
On my top half I wore a Nike training mid-layer which was extremely comfortable and fits very snug, which is how I like, with thumb loops for those extra cold days, on my bottom half a pair of Nike dry-fit running shorts that I picked up from the outlet store and were a good bargain for the quality and comfort that they gave me.
I saw an advert recently for a “2018 greatest running CD” and man, it sucked. It frustrated me that they’d picked such, dull, slow, generic songs. So I’m going to do my best to give you exciting and different songs that are actually going to push you on during your runs. So here are a few recommendations: “Oh Mama” by Run the Jewells, “One Kiss” with Dua Lipa by Calvin Harris, “Look In Your Eyes” by Mr. Nu and “Immigrant Song ” by Led Zeppelin. These songs all have a nice rhythm to stick with your own running stride and a fast enough pace to push you on if you feel like going harder.
Spotify – All my song recommendations can be streamed using Spotify and downloaded to use offline if you don’t want to use your data. As I stated in my last City Runs post, Spotify is my music streaming service app of choice.
Apple health – tracking distance and steps, Apple gives you your days adventures compiled into an easy to understand visual display allowing you to track your progress from run to run.
Google Maps – Obviously being in a foreign country can make it hard to navigate yourself around, however with Google maps I found it so easy to get around the city, with no problems. I don’t need to give you a big explanation on it as I’m sure you know how it works. If you don’t have it, get it. I always find it smoother and easier to use that Apple’s own Maps app.
Why City Run?
The idea of a run on your holiday may not spring to most peoples minds. However, I think it is a perfect opportunity to explore the City while staying active. Most hotels these days give you access to the gym, why use a treadmill and stare at a wall when you can get out and explore the City you’re visiting? Familiarise yourself with the place, discover restaurants, cafe’s and bars that you might want to go back to after your run, see how the people of the City actually behave outside of the tourist spots. Find hidden gems to brag about to your friends when you get home! It is so easy to do while travelling, giving you total freedom to explore a new place while only spending about 30 mins – 1 hour of your day on it.
All of this without even talking about the benefits of the exercise itself. Exercise has been shown to improve, physical, mental and social aspects of health. Going for regular runs could improve your cardiovascular fitness leading to lower blood pressure or lowering the risk of harmful diseases as well as making day to day activities easier. It has also been proven to decrease stress levels and improve mood along with being a good treatment for mental health issues. Convince a travel companion to run with you or even find a running club or group in the City your visiting and gain some social interaction too. All of these benefits, just by going for a run and taking in the City you’re visiting. Seems almost stupid not to.
Thank you for reading this post. I really hope you enjoyed it.
Disclaimer: Although part of this blog post is a paid collaboration, all views, opinions and experiences are my own.