New to running, but not sure where you can run? Local runner Adele Wong shares some of the good spots around KL.
Congratulations, you’ve decided to run! You’ve bought some cool running gear. You’ve set some goals for yourselves (hopefully). Now the question is: Where to run? The real answer to that question is: Anywhere!
But I guess sometimes we just need specific pointers to get started, so fret not, here’s a quick and short list to help you identify suitable running locations. Okay, I know the locations listed below (except for number 1) are mostly in Kuala Lumpur. That’s because I’ve only listed the locations that are familiar to me. But hopefully, even if most of the locations on this list aren’t very accessible to you, you’ll find it a handy guide to look for and find your very own running trail!
Without further ado, here’s my list:
1. Your own neighbourhood
Sometimes things are just outside your door step! Before you venture far away in search of that perfect running trail, explore the surroundings that you commute past every day on your way to school or work.
I’ve been surprised because some people tell me that they’ve never considered their own neighbourhood for running.
Think of it as a tour – how well do you know your own neighbourhood, really? You can make your run more interesting by greeting and chatting to the neighbours (not too long, though!), smelling the literal roses, petting a friendly dog (make sure it’s friendly!), or checking out that newly renovated house (perhaps chuckling to yourself that money can’t always buy taste). You may also spot some eye candy you’ve never noticed – a shiny new car, a hot girl, a cute guy.
A good thing about running around your own neighbourhood: you don’t have to look for parking space!
2. Desa Park City
If you feel motivated by the sight of other people running, this is where you should be. Parking is free and safe, on accounts of guards patrolling the area. There are many other runners in the park, along with cyclists, people walking their dogs, families and their kids.
There is a relatively flat running/walking track that makes a big loop around the waterfront, for a distance of 2.2 kilometres. If you feel like a bit more of a challenge, you can go all the way up to Ridgewood, also known as “DPC Hill”. Be prepared for a non-stop 600 metres of uphill torture! There is an additional 200 metres up to the water tank, but I’ll leave that for you to decide once you reach the round-about. You can run here at any time, even late at night.
3. Lake Gardens (now known as Perdana Botanical Gardens)
This is a popular place for runners in Kuala Lumpur, especially on the weekends. Many runners do their LSDs (long slow distance runs) there, and many running clubs and communities gather there. Go and join in the fun and meet new people. Most are welcoming and will let you run with them.
There is a variety of terrain to keep things interesting – a mix of stairs, hills, flats, twists and turns.
The park itself is relatively safe with a lot of runners around during peak times, but it is a big place. Take care if you are running alone, in the more isolated areas. Don’t leave valuables in the car, as there have been cases of break-ins.
4. KLCC Park
Another popular location for runners, this park is convenient if you work in the heart of the city and want to put in a run after work, or before. One loop around the purpose built running/jogging track is 1.2 km. It is quite safe, as there are guards patrolling the park. The park closes at 10pm.
You can take an LRT over, or drive as there are plenty of parking spaces available. Parking is expensive (see rates here), but you are rewarded with a view of the Petronas Twin Towers while you run. The park and track itself is also very well-maintained, with water fountains located throughout.
5. Kg Pandan Sports Complex Track
This is a competition standard 8-lane running track (where one loop equals 400 metres). The track is open and free to the public. Parking is free and relatively secure – you can see your car from the track so if you’re the paranoid type you can even keep an eye on it while doing laps around the track!
There are quite a number of runners after working hours and on weekends, but not so crowded that you can’t run properly. On a “closed” flat track with clearly marked distances like this one, it is easy to train with speed runs and intervals.
I very much prefer running outdoors than doing miles on a machine, I love the wind in my face and the feeling of covering ground with my own feet. But there is an alternative when circumstances just don’t allow running outdoors: the treadmill, either at home or in the gym. The good part is the convenience. But the convenience can also be a bad thing – you can easily hop off the machine and quit a run halfway!
When you’re out running, your main focus is of course the run itself. But safety is paramount. If you are used to running with some tunes, lower the volume so that you still hear the sounds around you – it’s not a good thing to not be able to hear a car beeping their horn because you’ve strayed onto the road!
Don’t just focus on your footwork when you run. Look up, be aware of your surroundings. Remain alert, especially when you’re running alone. Have fun and stay safe!
Readers in other states! Where are your favourite running spots in Penang, Ipoh, KK, Kuching, JB etc? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page!