Where to run? May 26 2015, 0 Comments

When running, I tend to either have a set route, or to simply wander until I feel like coming home.  For those who want to break their routine, but don't trust themselves not to be too far from home when they finally decide to head back, there are designated runs where the route and distance are clearly defined.

Interestingly, when I searched for these in the Zürich area, I found them listed under the Tiefbau- und Entsorgungsdepartement, the department which regulates civil (literally, 'underground') building and waste disposal, and there was a plethora of offerings.

Finnenbahn are tracks, often through the forest with a sawdust/wood bark suface which is spongy to run on.  Excellent for peace and quiet and offering the possibility of running completely barefoot without the risk of sharp stones or shards of glass.  Many of these are lit at night when the time of year requires it.

Waldlaufstrecke provide longer distances on standard tracks, again through the forests which are so readily accessible from towns and cities in Switzerland.

Vitaparcours trails have exercise stations along their length at which you can work on strength or flexibility training.  They are generally shorter, but you can do them more than once if you want to prolong the experience.

Most of the above options offer access to free showering and changing facilities, and you can find them for the Zürich area here.  For other parts of Switzerland, a google search will find them pretty quickly.

If you want more complete immersion in your running, a friend drew my attention to the growing trend for running camps in the USA, where participants can go away for a weekend or a week of running coaching and practice - details here.  Of course, you can also do this in Switzerland where we have unparalleled nature and terrains for running, details of one of these here.

What sort of barefoot shoe would we recommend for these?  For summer, the Terra offers good contact with the ground, and a sole which curls up to protect the toes and heels against knocks and scuffs.  If you're going really high up where it can be chilly, an Apex or Hero might be better for the additional warmth brought by a thermoprene upper.  Wherever you go, and whatever you wear, we wish you a good summer of running!