Where I run

Living in London is great for many reasons but running on spectacular mountainous trails is not one of them. But just because you can't head out the door in your running shoes and immediately hit paydirt (or just dirt) doesn't men you can't vary your routes. As in life, variety is the spice of running.

I live in Fulham so naturally the following examples are based around there but as you'll see there are plenty of parks and paths not too far away to keep you from the traffic.

Bridge to Bridge (4.5 miles)

What it's good for

A nice easy jog. From Putney Bridge to Hammersmith Bridge and back is a popular loop among local runners. It incorporates the Thames Path which is easy to follow on the Putney/Barnes side but can be a bit fiddly on the Fulham/Hammersmith side as there are some sharp turns and narrow paths. You'll always see other runners at least once if you do this, and twice if they're doing the same loop but in the opposite direction. Don't worry, they're not going as fast as you.

Battersea Park loop (7 miles)

What it's good for

Being near the river it's nice and flat so perfect for speedwork, be it a sustained effort or fartlek - the numerous streetlights and trees lining the roads provide great regular markers. Once you get to Battersea Park itself, it's  car-free one so you don't need to worry about that. Keep an eye out for cyclists though. It also lends it self to lap repeats of the park if you want to extend your run.

Hyde Park and back (10 miles)

What it's good for

The ideal easy long-ish run with some London sights thrown in for good measure. As there are a lot of roads to cross and pedestrians galore - especially around Chelsea - this isn't much good for going quickly. So just take it easy and mind out for rollerbladers near the Serpentine. They started going in 1995 and haven't been able to stop, apparently.

Wimbledon Common, plus bridge to bridge (15 miles)

What it's good for

Mud, mainly. Running chum Cat showed me the way round the common (sadly no Wombles were spotted) in January and it's a right old filthy mess. This is great though because it means you get to go off-road which in turn does less damage to your legs. For the run pictured above I also threw in my regular Putney bridge to Hammersmith bridge loop incorporating the Thames Path. You'll always see other runners at least once if you do this, and twice if they're doing the same loop but in the opposite direction.