Barcelona for runners
Running fever has spread throughout the world at the speed of an Olympic runner. Barcelona is a city that hosts important running events such as the Barcelona Marathon, the fifth most popular marathon in Europe in terms of runners, after Paris, London, Berlin and Stockholm. But where do the Barcelona locals train? What are the best routes for running and discovering the city? That's enough questions. Let's put on our running shoes and explore them for ourselves.
The city at your feet from the Carretera de les Aigües
The Carretera de les Aigües is one of the city's most popular running paths and is so named because it stands on the site of a series of water distribution pipes ("aigua" is Catalan for "water"). It is situated on the Collserola Ridge, a mountainous area less than 15 minutes away from the city centre, and boasts the best views of Barcelona guarded by the inseparable Mediterranean in the distance.
The path is more than 9 km long and runs through leafy woodland with a wealth of flora and fauna. You may come across rabbits, squirrels and even wild boar. But don't worry… they coexist peacefully with runners, cyclists and other animal species. The path is flat, making it ideal for expert runners or novices.
Its location close to the city and easy access on public transport are the best thing of all. It's easy and convenient to get there if you take the FGC (Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat) railway to Avinguda Tibidabo (L7) and transfer to the bus in Plaça John F. Kennedy. Another option is to alight at the station at the foot of the funicular, Peu del Funicular (FGC), and take the funicular to the stop at the Carretera de les Aigües. You can also get there by car, from the Ronda de Dalt ring road and Avinguda Tibidabo, to the Plà dels Maduixers where the path commences.
With the sand at your heels
This jogging route is a true classic. When the sun begins to set, or when it starts to peek timidly above the horizon, thousands of Barcelona locals come out to run against the backdrop of the Mediterranean. The route usually starts at the end of the Barceloneta boardwalk and continues for more than 4 km, past the Olympic Village towards the Forum. The great thing is that the route is ideal for beginners and experts alike. Novice runners won't have any problems reaching the Olympic Village and experts will love the challenge of running as far as the Parc del Fòrum. The course is perfect because it is even and flat under foot, and there's no chance of getting injured. But the best thing of all is the company of the sea.
This is the most urban route of all and one of the most popular among Barcelona's runners. The Diagonal is a broad avenue that crosses the entire city and has wide tree-lined pavements. Along this circuit, tall buildings and the frenetic pace of city life will accompany you every step of the way. We recommend you begin in Plaça de Francesc Macià, go as far as Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes and end your run by the sea.
Another interesting option is to begin in Plaça de Francesc Macià and end your run in Parc de Cervantes, on the other side of the Diagonal. This landscaped area has an abundance of plants and is far from the noise and bustle of the city. There are steps where you can supplement your training by doing some stretches. Because it's really important to stretch your muscles before you start running and finish your exercise. You know this is the key to avoiding injuries.
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