This one’s for all of my Hobokeners (Hobokenites?)!  Do you ever get bored of the flat, endless paths between Hoboken and Jersey City or the opposite direction up to Weehawken?   After a standard run down the waterfront, my Nike Running App tells me that I literally finish with ZERO incline.   After awhile, that can get boring and really doesn’t help you grow as a runner.  Sometimes on a Friday morning, that kind of run can be refreshing and much needed, but not everyday! 

For the past couple of months, I’ve tried to get out of work at a reasonable hour so that I could run up and down the giant hill back on Patterson Plank and then up another hill into Union City (here is a link from May My Run with the path ending in Union City, in case you’re interested).  I try to do that back and forth at least twice.  However, as it’s slowly getting darker much earlier, this path isn’t feasible.  DO NOT run back there alone at night.  Not only are the streetlights not reliable, but you never know whose home you’re potentially running through :-/

Over the past week, I’ve found the perfect solution and the perfect workout to both challenge myself and feel safe while running at night.  You may recognize in the picture attached to this article the hill coming down from Jersey City, right near the movie theater in uptown Hoboken.  I think they call it the “aqueduct” (don’t quote me on that though).  There are cars constantly driving by and the streetlights are always on, making it a safe place to run up and down the sidewalk.   At least twice a week, I run 3 miles to that hill, then run 4 times up and down (which is about 2 miles), then finish off with a 2 mile cool down.  I’ll switch up how fast I run, depending on what I’m trying to accomplish for that specific workout.

For instance, last night I did a half mile warm-up (not counted in my run total, just used for a warm-up) and then my goal was to run 2 miles in 13 minutes (6:30 pace) followed by 1 mile at a cool down pace.  At that point, I went straight into the climb up the hill and ran up and down 4 times.  I finished the night with 7 miles banked and a total elevation of  400 feet – a far cry from the big fat zero I normally get.  It’s an amazing workout and a great way to kickstart your week!   You don’t have to run the 3 miles in advance and you don’t have to do 4 reps.  What’s great about running is that you can customize any workout to fit what you need and what you can handle that day.  If you don’t live in Hoboken, but still find trouble getting in the hill workouts, try to get creative! It may not always seem like the most obvious choice!  Also – do any of my fellow Jersey Citians/Hoboken residents have suggestions on great places to run?!  I’d love to hear some places that you’ve discovered on your travels!

Happy Running!