In the last post from this series, City Runs: Toronto, I really struggled to try and narrow down one run in particular to recommend. In contrast to Toronto, choosing my City Runs recommendation for L.A. could not have been easier. There was one run that stuck out like a sore thumb for me, but L.A. certainly lives up to the health vibe that it's known for in regards to having an abundance of choice for where to work out or stage your City Run.
For those of you who are new to my “City Runs” series, I visit different cities at home and abroad, giving some recommendations for the best places to run and keep fit. 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.
Most of the time in my City Runs series I try to give you a recommendation that's a little different. I have, however, picked the most iconic place in L.A. for our City Run this time. Bare with me though, this is the perfect mixture of cliché tourist spot and off the beaten track (literally). You've probably guessed by now what I'm going to say...THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN!
I originally thought that the Hollywood sign was going to be overflowing with tourists and that there'd be no chance of even getting a picture there, let alone being able to go on a run, but it is one of the best locations for some exercise that I've come across in any City Run so far. There are a tonne of routes depending on how daring you are or how much of a try hard you want to be in the hot L.A. weather. I'm going to give you the basic run then talk about some options you have to expand your run.
So, the sign has a lot of trails all around it, some connected, some not, so it's best to know your route. My route starts at the vista point and then takes you directly under the sign as close as you can get while still being beneath it, perfect for views of the sign pretty much the entire time. The trail underneath the sign is a haven for walkers, dog walkers and runners and it suspiciously empty. I even had to go back there on a weekend after my first City Run attempt failed due to the weather and it was still lovely and quiet. It struck me as the sort of place that all the tourists could see but couldn't work out how to get to (incapable of looking at google maps clearly).
This is what I opted to do because if you go for the more difficult route like I'm going to suggest now, you'll get one of the best views in the whole of L.A. However, it is a hell of a lot harder which is why I haven't recommended this as the main City Run.
If you continue past the Hollywood sign towards Lake Hollywood, you can run around the top of the lake and head up to the Wisdom trail. The Wisdom trail leads up to the most stunning view of the whole city, there's one catch though. You pretty much have to trek up a small mountain to get there. It's about a 45 minute hike up the mountain and it will be a hike for most as it will be very hard to run without A. Getting tired, and B. Risking falling to your death by being a cocky mug while on the side of a mountain. Make sure you stock up on fluids and lather yourself in sun cream to fight the elements to the best of your ability. This is tough but wow is the view worth it.
Now you've reached the highest point in L.A. you may as well carry on and continue the trek for another 45 minutes and head for the Hollywood sign which is what I did. It's so iconic and I knew I'd regret not looking out over the sign when I had the chance so I gathered every last morsel of saliva I had to moisten my dry as a desert mouth and headed off (school boy error not bringing a drink. Hey, if only someone had made a really cool, witty, insightful blog post detailing this trek and given me some tips. Am I right?).
Again, the view is stunning from the top, I did think that Wisdom tree had the better view though and this whole trek took about 3 hours so it might be wiser to break it up into two separate days so it doesn't feel like such a root march unless you think you'll blitz it easily.
Another alternative for you to try would be running along Venice beach for sure!
What To Wear
On my feet I wore my Adidas Alphabounce 1 Parley shoes. I'm always really keen to show these off due to the fact they're made out of recycled bottles so I'm keeping the ocean clean by doing this. A super cool collaboration by Adidas and Parley, one of their many! I also wore Adidas Tennoji shorts for the run which I really like because I always want to have zip pockets so I can run without having to worry about anything falling out of my pockets. On top I wore an Adidas Entrada 14 training top which has stop being sold so I've linked an updated version. On my failed City Run, I'd had to wear both Adidas training pants and an Adidas Supernova storm jacket.
I listened to Post Malone a lot during this City Run, both Wow and Sugar Wraith primarily. Both of these have a good rhythm to run to but there were two other songs that were probably better to run to that I was using as well. New Level - A$AP Ferg & Future is an extremely good one, along with Uproar - Lil Wayne.
Spotify – All my song recommendations can be streamed using Spotify and downloaded to use offline if you don’t want to use your data. Spotify is my go to music service for every City Run.
Uber - Uber is a must in L.A. The city is so spread out that you'll need to Uber to see everything you want to see and there'll be a big chance you aren't staying near the Hollywood sign so you'll need an Uber to get there.
City Mapper - An awesome app that I've just discovered and it is so helpful with simplifying public transport.
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 – With Google maps I found it so easy to get around the city. 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.
What an amazing City Runs this turned out to be. I have a feeling my next one may not be quite as warm...
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please let me know whether you want to see more City Runs content as I am planning on posting more as soon as possible.
Disclaimer: Although part of this blog post is a paid collaboration, all views, opinions and experiences are my own.