Add Event My Events Log In

Upcoming Events

    Bit to Do

    Print this page

    Now, I know running isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I am utterly convinced that those that claim they hate it do so because they simply haven't done it enough.

    When you first begin running, yes, it sucks. Your legs ache, you feel like your lungs are going to explode, and occasionally you might throw up. No wonder so many people quit before they even really begin. But, just like anything else in this life, it takes a lot of practice and ultimately requires mental strength rather than simply just strong muscles.

    Running as a daily form of exercise doesn't just benefit the physical body, it is an extraordinary tool in combating mental illness. It also helps to eliminate the surplus amounts of stress that people unfortunately experience regularly in today’s world. It is a way to push your mind and body beyond your comfort zone, and prove to yourself that yes, YOU CAN DO THIS. Hopefully, that's the sort of mindset you can transfer over into all aspects of your life, not just your physical fitness.

    Here is a breakdown of some of my favorite places to run in the city that I love:

     

    Waterfront Park

    Distance: 1.5-3.0 miles

    Difficulty: Beginner-Intermediate (depending on whether or not you include the walking bridge)

    Waterfront Park is a great place for people who are new to running because for the most part, it’s pretty flat without a lot of surprises. If you start at the Walking Bridge and run down through the park, past Joe’s Crab Shack to the Belle of Louisville, you’ve gone about 1 mile. Running back to the walking bridge will obviously result in a completed 2 mile run, but if you’re feeling adventurous and want to up your exercise game, take on the walking bridge too! The bridge itself isn’t bad, but the spiraling incline leading up to it will definitely present a physically exhausting challenge. If you choose to run one way on the bridge and then walk back, your run will end up being around 2.5 miles; but if you run there and back then it works out to be a little over 3 miles!

    Waterfront Park is especially awesome in the summer, because if you get too hot on your run, you can always cool off in the splash park! It’s a lively place and there are always plenty of people riding bikes and walking around, so it’s never the same scene twice.

    Image: louisvillewaterfront.com

     

    Cherokee Loop

    Distance: 2.3 miles

    Difficulty: Intermediate

    Cherokee Loop is one of the most popular running routes in Louisville because of its prime location in the center of highland life. With green fields, rolling hills and clusters of enormous trees throughout the park, it is impossible for one to lose interest or get bored on this run. The loop itself is super easy to follow, as it’s a simple series of left turns. There are also faint reflective arrows painted on the road, indicating which way to go. There are two lanes, one designated for walkers, runners, bikers, etc., and the other designated for through traffic. Motorists are very respectful of patrons enjoying recreational activities in the park, so don’t worry about passing cars. While this route is lacking a bit in distance, it is still decently challenging, especially for beginners. Maximum incline sits at about 558 feet, and there are frequent changes in ascent and descent throughout the run, so don’t be expecting a lot of flat terrain.

    Cherokee Park is also a great location for some hill work, and I highly recommend a few sets of sprints up what is known as “the lawn” at the top of the park. It is a HUGE hill and guaranteed to give you a great workout.

    Image: louisvilleky.gov

     

    Iroquois Loop

    Distance: 3.5

    Difficulty: HardIf you’re looking for a challenging run but don’t have time in your busy schedule to “go the distance,” then this is the perfect route for you. Beginning right behind the amphitheater on Rundill Road, the Iroquois loop extends northbound along New Cut before forking at Iroquois Park Road and heading up into the wooded area of the park. This is where you’ll approach your first and largest incline, which reaches a maximum of 613 feet and goes on for 0.3 of a mile. From here you’ll remain on Rundill Road for the rest of the loop, coming into contact with several smaller grade inclines along the way. There are few downhill stretches where a few of us might, dare I say it, catch our breath for a second, but there aren’t many so be prepared to embrace the struggle! Towards the tail end of your run, you’ll see a white gate that may or may not be closed. This is okay! Just because it’s closed off to cars, does not mean it’s closed off to runners and walkers. Continue on past the gate, and you will shortly approach your final incline of 583 feet. It may be smaller than the first major incline at the start of your run, but it sure doesn’t feel that way! Power through, because after conquering that final hill, it’s smooth sailing from then on. Make it over that hill and continue running downhill the rest of the way to the finish line.

    This is a unique loop because there are several different ways to run it. The level of difficulty for this run will depend on where you choose to start and finish. This could be said about almost any running route, but trust me when I say the option that includes the intense, high grade inclines increases the difficulty significantly. For some runners, this could be both a blessing and a curse.

    Image: Jaime Brewer

     

    Lake Forest

    Distance: Relative

    Difficulty: N/A

    While this isn’t a specific running route, neighborhood runs are occasionally nice for a change of pace, especially if you, like myself, are into people watching. Growing up in Lake Forest, I have mapped out several different running routes throughout my 22 years, each varying in distance and difficulty. The terrain in the older part of Lake Forest tends to sit flat compared to the newer areas of housing in the estates, which provide more hills. With the exception of the large incline running alongside the park, most of the hills in Lake Forest are gradual and relatively low. Depending on how advanced of a runner you are, this is either great news or really bad news, because gradual hills can be killer if you aren’t used to distance running. As far as scenery goes, Lake Forest is a beautiful neighborhood and a great place to browse for your potential dream house while you’re getting your sweat on.

    Image: lakeforestgolf.com

     

    Cover Image: Louisville Color Run

    Jaime Brewer's picture

    About Jaime Brewer

    I love dinosaurs, my puppy, and running. Currently a student at THE University of Louisville studying English and Philosophy.

    More from author:    

    Share On:

    Upcoming Events

      Event Finder

      Subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or RSS