Philippa Jephson, 34, was living in Buenos Aires, Argentina and teaching English. While she was there, she was introduced to the concept of ‘sightrunning’ through a company called Urban Running Tours, which conducts running tours of the city. “I was given the opportunity to work as a running guide; meet new people, show them the city that I grew to love, and get paid to do my training was a dream part-time job,” she says.
The accredited guide then went on to start Run Cape Town – Sightseeing on the Run in South Africa. As part of her tour, visitors can have the opportunity to see the historical Bo-Kaap neighbourhood, the Victoria and Albert Waterfront and other local monuments while maintaining a steady running speed.
She isn’t the only one fascinated by the concept. According to Runner’s World, ‘sightrunning’, a concept that mixes running with sightseeing, is the current hot trend in the travel industry. These tours are available in nearly 50 cities around the globe, including New York, Boston, Paris, and Barcelona, with that number rapidly increasing.
These tours are essentially tailor-made for the individuals. The groups are small, and choose their distance and pace. All routes can be adapted to cover a greater or shorter distance. Also, since you are learning about the city, the nature of the tour is relaxed, providing ample opportunity to rest and discuss about a place of historical interest for a while, or to stop for photo opportunities or water breaks.
And it is catching the Indian tourist’s fancy as well. Harshad Shah and his wife Sunita, both lawyers, participated in a similar tour in London. He says, “We are health enthusiasts. The tour ensured that we got our dose of sightseeing while we stuck to our exercise schedule.”
To avoid injury, it's essential to ease yourself into running slowly and increase your pace and distance gradually over several outings.
Start each run with a gentle warm-up of at least five minutes. This can include quick walking, knee lifts, side stepping and climbing stairs.
Start walking for an amount of time that feels comfortable. Once you can walk for 30 minutes easily, include some running intervals of one to two minutes into your walking.
Run with your arms and shoulders relaxed, and elbows bent. Keep an upright posture and a smooth running stride, striking the ground with the middle of your foot.
Regular running for beginners means getting out at least twice a week.
Source: National Health Service, UK