Please note: Due to COVID-19 regulations and safety precautions, these space may not be open and operating. Please contact them directly for more information. Although these spaces offer a safer environment to jog, please remain aware of your surroundings and stay alert of suspicious activity.

PwC Bike Park

The PwC Bike Park, situated on the outskirts of Bryanston, introduced running trails to their already interesting and exciting layout. Now runners can enjoy a safe offroad run while taking in the greenery of the area. As we all know, intense activity takes fuel, and yours can be replenished at the Fixie Deck, the PwC Park's very own café, which serves everything from healthy snacks to stringy cheese pizzas.

Details: Click here for more information

Pirates Sports Club

Stay safe and motivated by joining the popular Pirates Running Club. This collection of passionate runners has been hitting the road since 1977 and there's no stopping them, along with walkers, trail runners and cycling clubs. As the leading public sports club in mid-Johannesburg, Pirates serves the suburbs of Greenside, Parkhurst, Parkview, Emmarentia, Linden, Northcliff, Craighall Park, Parktown and Blairgowrie.

Details: Click here for more information

Wanderers Club

Complete with top-of-the-line facilities and safe parking, the Wanderers Running Club is as accommodating as the area in which it is situated. Catering to runners in the northern suburbs of Joburg, the Wanderers Club meets every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday to take to the road. Here you can run/walk your way to a better you.

Details: Click here for more information

Roodepoort Running Club

Similar to Pirates, the Roodepoort Running Club does not seem to run out of breath. The club offers a safe and friendly environment for beginners and avid runners alike. They also host running events throughout the year and urge their members to improve themselves as best they can. This running club is ideal for folks living in the West Rand who are looking for a safer alternative to solo running along Ontdekkers Road.

Details: Click here for more information

Mud challenge

Randpark Golf Club

Who said the golf course should only be for old dudes who want to waste a good walk? The Randpark Golf Club has introduced a running/jogging/walking track for those who want to increase their fitness levels without risking traffic and other safety issues that come with road running. Runners can choose between a 3km, 5km or 8km track. The Randpark Golf Club urges runners to bring headlamps as the tracks are only open in the early mornings and evenings.

Details: Click here for more information

By Shawn Greyling

There's an urban myth making the rounds, stating that Johannesburg is the largest man-made forest in the world. This is something made up by drunk guys around a braai night. And like many rumours, it's spread the country over.

But Jozi does boast a lot of pretty cool parks. From Zoo Lake to Westdene Dam, and everything in between, we don't have a shortage of picnic spots. But lately these formerly picnic-only zones have become the home of another Joburg staple - the jogger.

Parkrun - as the community is known - organise weekly, 5 km timed runs around the city. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. Some notable parkruns would be Delta Park in Victory Park (which is also a prime mountainbiking spot), the Lonehill Park Dam, and the Woodlands Office Park. All you need to do to join in is to register on the official parkrun website. On the site you will also find details about events taking place in your area. These runs are spread all across the city, and country for that matter.

Discovery Vitality members, 18 years and older, can earn 300 points for participating in a parkrun event. Visit the Discovery website for more information. It is a partnered initiative by the financial services group to invest in grassroots  athletics events to further healthy living in South Africa.

By Shawn Greyling

Have you been on a Parkrun before? Let us know what you think of it in the comments section below. Thinking of getting into shape or looking for a new challenge? Then share this link on social media with your friends and family. 

Discovery Vitality 3

It's All About the Arch

Do you have a high, medium or low arch? Not too sure? Head to the shoe store and have them check out those steppers of yours. High arched feet need less cushioning than their low arched buddies do, and then of course medium arched feet need medium cushioned shoes.

We Need Space

A tight fit is not good for your feet's health. It can lead to an increased risk of shin splints and toe jam build-up. Make sure to leave at least half a thumb nail's length between your big toe and the point of the shoe.

Heel Strikers Unite

90% of runners strike their heels when running, and coupling this with hard surfaces such as tarmac can cause an increased risk of plantar fasciitis. Either change your technique or look for a shoe that has added cushioning around the heel.

Body Frame

Your length and weight will dictate which shoe you should be treading dust with. Shorter, lighter runners need less of a sole than longer, heavier runners do. Go look at the difference between the Merrel Trail Glove (perfect for our shorter, lighter friends) and the Nike Vomero (perfect for our taller, heavier buddies) to grasp a good understanding of sole differences in shoes.

Better Breather

Top running shoes have one thing in common: they allow your feet to breathe. Having a lovely little breeze tickle your toes is something only flip-flop wearing beach bums had the luxury of experiencing... until now. Get a shoe with breathable mesh which will keep your feet cool and from stinking up the living room after a jog.

running-shoes-2015-1

By Shawn Greyling

Clothes

Thermal underwear should be at the top of the list here. Although thermals provide some insulation, their main job is to fight evaporative cooling by removing the sweat away from the skin. Now that we have the briefs out of the way, we'd also need to wear a t-shirt, wind pants, a lightweight running jacket, tight fitting beanie and scarf, running tights, two pairs of socks (This is fairly important during winter to ensure decent blood flow) and then of course your favourite pair of running shoes. Keep in mind that road surfaces tend to slicken up during winter and the possibility of slipping on the tarmac or side walk increases dramatically.

Warming Up

As always, getting the muscles ready for some action is very important. The importance thereof should be amplified when nipping out for a quick jog at 3°C.

running-in-the-cold

How Cold is too Cold

Don't try and be a hero by bursting through the gate into -30°C weather. There are always alternatives to this. And if you feel the need to go for a jog then keep the route close to home in case of an emergency.

A to Zinc the Old Fashioned Way

Preventive measures are definitely far better than the solutions, and that goes for falling ill during jogs in the cold. Multi-Vitamins have been proven to be a big waste of money as your body simply disposes of all supplements without absorbing any of it. Instead, take in these necessary nutrients by eating correctly. After all, food is the fuel our bodies run on and if you fill up with bad stuff you're going to have maintenance problems in the long run.

 

Tucked away on the cusp of Blairgowrie and Victory Park, about 10km north-west of the city centre, lies Delta Park, a peaceful and spacious area of some 104 hectares - one of the city’s biggest ‘green lungs’. Its long walking paths spread like veins across the plain's surface, trodden by weekend runners and horse riders.

Delta Park

There are a number of benches placed around under shady trees, allowing visitors to lounge around. Delta Park is also pet-friendly and dogs don't need to be kept on a leash. A 7.5 hectare area has been enclosed and devoted to the Florence Bloom Bird Sanctuary, the oldest of its kind in the city. Originally formed in the late 1960’s it was re-established by the Witwatersrand Bird Club and the Bloom brothers – Harry, Norman and David. When re- opened in 1975,  the Florence Bloom Bird Sanctuary was named after their mother.

Delta Park

Bird hides, with wheelchair access, have been built at the two dams; on the far side of the plot, a confusion of guinea fowl can be spotted. The dams have attracted various ducks, coots, moorhens and other water birds, as well as the odd kingfisher; the open veld sections attract bishops and weavers, guinea fowl and francolin, and the areas of denser bush attract birds such as Willow Warblers, Great Reed-Warblers, and Tawny-flanked Prinias, Sparrowhawks and Owls. The park also seems to regularly attract highly unusual species and in the past seven years Madagascar Cuckoo, Long-tailed Pipit, and Ayres Hawk-Eagle, amongst others, have been recorded.

Delta Park

Other special features within the park are the Sasol Sensory Trail and the Rand Water Water Wise Garden. The imaginative Sensory Trail was opened in 1997 and is intended to assist people, including the physically challenged, to appreciate aspects of nature which do not first come to mind, such as texture, temperature, aroma and shape. The Water Wise Garden is designed to comprise many different, mainly indigenous plants, grouped according to their water requirements.

The Park also houses the Scouts and Girl Guides, as well as the Delta Environmental Centre which aims to enable people to improve their environment by promoting the management and sustainable use of all resources. Their website has the most information about the Park itself as well as good directions and a map. There is a colourful and active children’s area, and clean toilets. Pack your running shoes and head to Delta Park for a Parkrun every Saturday morning at 08:00.

By Shawn Greyling