Top Tips for Running in the City with James Heptonstall
Written By: SportsShoes
Running in the city can be a daunting experience as you face the hustle and bustle of urban life; traffic, unknown streets and, most importantly, lots of other people and runners. SportsShoes have caught up with adidas Runners’ London Captain, James Heptonstall, to find out why he loves running in London and his top tips for urban running, from essential kit to locating new places to run in your city.
DO YOU PREFER RUNNING IN THE CITY OR RUNNING IN THE COUNTRYSIDE?
I really like running in the city. In London especially you can explore different areas, even if you just run a short distance the environment changes. So you can easily go from a quite busy, urban area into parkland and it feels just like you are in the countryside.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN LONDON TO RUN?
I really like to run from central London and head north, so you get that urban environment, and then up towards Hampstead Heath. There you get that massive area of parkland and it suddenly feels like you're not in the city any more. I always finish my run on top of Primrose Hill where I get an amazing view of the city skyline.
WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER TRIED RUNNING IN AN URBAN ENVIRONMENT?
I know it can be quite daunting. There is an element of you having to be confident and you need to make sure you have a certain level of agility as you have to navigate traffic, street furniture, and of course people. You need to make sure to always look left and right to keep yourself safe.
HOW DO YOU FIND NEW PLACES TO RUN IN LONDON?
I often mix my running routes up. It’s good to run near places where you live or work but if you’re running with a group of people, it is sometimes nice to explore something new together. That keeps your training fresh and interesting, not doing the same routes over and over.
WHAT TIME DO YOU LIKE RUNNING IN THE CITY – IN THE MORNING OR AFTER WORK?
I’m not a morning person really. I like running in the evening, when it’s a little bit dark. Running under the street lights is absolutely fine. Even if it’s a bit damp and wet, that’s the conditions I like.
WHAT’S THE BEST KIT TO TAKE WHEN RUNNING THROUGH THE CITY?
Route finding can be quite useful. Having a map-based tool for when you're running through new areas, like Google Maps or an app like Runtastic, I find is always helpful. As running in an urban environment can be quite overwhelming, it is nice to run in groups or at least pairs so you are not just by yourself.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE NEW ADIDAS ULTRABOOST 19?
I have done quite a few runs in them now and I have definitely noticed the 20% extra Boost Adidas put into this shoe. I used to run in the older Ultra Boost version and I love the improvements Adidas have made. I especially recognised the improved heel cage that gives more flexible support and the extra Boost. It will be a great training shoe for me.
DO YOU THINK THE ULTRABOOST 19 IS A GOOD SHOE FOR RUNNING THROUGH THE CITY?
Adidas have made some improvements with the Prime knit upper that makes changing directions a lot better in this shoe than in the older version. It can definitely be used in an urban environment to cut those tight corners you find in the city. Also the splay where the ball of your foot is comes out quite nice, which is good for changing directions. The UltraBoost 19 is great for an urban environment but also good for those long canal runs. It serves all purposes.
Explore the latest update of the adidas UltraBoost series here: https://www.sportsshoes.com/adidas-ultraboost/