Spring is here, the days are getting longer, and it is a great time to think about the exercise you can do outside the gym.

Weight training is the basis of our women’s personal training and group training. But it is important to think about the cardio and outdoor training you can do to help you reach your fitness goals.

Running, jogging and walking can be part of your active recovery from weight training. If you’re starting from scratch the main thing is to take your time and build up some stamina at a slow and steady pace. It’s important to take it easy to start with to avoid injuries that could plague you for months.

Running gets the blood pumping and the endorphins going, so it is great for your mood. All movement is great but getting outside is beneficial for your mind and your body.

Running might be a dirty word and you might feel a long way off your next 10k, but you can ease yourself into it. There are loads of tips and tricks and tonnes of benefits to be had. With apps like couch to 10k and Runkeeper there’s no excuse not to get on your marks, get set and go!

In Glasgow we are lucky to have lots of great parks and green spaces. All with varying terrain, so you can guarantee a good workout if you know where to go. We have come up with a few suggestions for local running routes to get you going.

Here’s our pick of the best spots across the city, north, south, east and west. Get out there, make sure you take a running selfie and tag @reactivetraining on Instagram. We’ll be cheering you on from the virtual side-lines!

Landscape view of a green park.

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Tollcross Park 

With 91 acres, there’s loads of space to explore at this park. There’s a good mix of grass and tarmac paths too.

In such a big park it can be difficult to know where to start. There’s a weekly Park Run event here and one tip would be to follow the route for that to help you work up to a 5k run. A word of warning though, this is not great course for beginners.

The route is hilly and starts opposite the Winter Gardens near the mini bandstand. It’s a short run uphill to the upper perimeter of the park which gives you great views of the city. If you’ve found the run uphill challenging, why not do some laps of the perimeter.

If you want to try some mixed terrain and go up and downhill, then there’s loads of options in this park. Running back downhill past the allotments takes you to the next hill and you can get the heart rate going again. Make sure you wear your Myzone and rack up the MEPs!

Pollock Park

Pollock Park trumps Tollcross with a massive 360 acres to explore. There’s a mix of flat and hilly terrain with wooded and open paths to follow. The Burrell Gallery car park is a good starting point and two laps of the North Wood is approximately 5k. If it’s wet underfoot, this park can be a little more hazardous so make sure your running shoes have a good grip. Or take a friend along to help you keep an eye out for any slippy surfaces!

If you’re feeling ambitious, there is a longer route that takes you all the way to Queens Park. You can read more about that here.

Alexandra Park

Dennistoun locals will know this spot well. It is compact enough to run around twice and there’s only one small(ish) hill. Part of the park is a public golf course. If you catch your breath at the top of the hill, you’ll get some nice views of Glasgow from the east. The threat of stray golf balls might give you enough of a push run back down the hill and round the duck pond.

If you need further incentive to visit, remember there’s a few nice coffee shops only a short walk from the park gates!

Kelvingrove Park

Kelvingrove can be an awkward park to run because of the layout. One way to cover a decent 5k route is to go out of the park via the Botanic Gardens. Starting at the entrance nearest Kelvingrove Museum, run the path alongside the river. Run past Ha’Penny Bridge and cross the next bridge you come to on your left and you will run back the route you came.

This park is busy with dog walkers and cyclists so watch your step!

The back of a woman running along a path.

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There’s loads of other parks that aren’t too far outside Glasgow city centre. Strathclyde Park for example is only 25 minutes away and has a simple circular 6k route around a man-made loch.

If you fancy some trail running or a walk through the woods Chatelherault Country Park is close by too. Mugdock Country Park near Milngavie also offers similar conditions for walking and running. Be mindful of weather and remember conditions underfoot vary from place to place.

If running isn’t your thing and you’ve tried it but can’t get into it, there are loads of other options to get a fresh air fix. Walking and getting in 10k steps a day is hugely beneficial and it doesn’t particularly matter how you get those steps in. Simply taking the stairs and not the lift, walking instead of driving wherever you can, taking the dog out or your neighbours dog out, it all counts!

Finally, remember that outside the gym you don’t have to go it alone – the Reactive team get together for regular dog walks and hill walks. We also team up for events like It’s a Knockout, Tough Mudder and Tartan Warrior which are a great laugh. If you want to know more about what we do inside and outside the gym, get in touch here.

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