St Albans is a top runner in national poll

St Albans is one of the best places to go running.

St Albans is one of the best places to go running, according to poll. - Credit: Getty Images

St Albans is officially one of the best cities to run in – according to a new study.

Whether you are already a keen runner, or you only run to the chocolate cupboard, be encouraged that the cathedral city is ideal for taking up this outdoor activity.

The survey, by Runners Need, scored St Albans as number five in the country, with Wokingham taking the number one spot, followed by Slough, Reading and Winchester.

Factors analysed for the poll included air pollution, crime rate, number of parks/green spaces and traffic.

In ranking the best and worst urban areas for running, London came 93rd and was found to be bottom of the pile for avoiding high traffic.

Running is a low-cost legal way to exercise safely in a lockdown, if you partake alone or socially distanced with one other.

St Albans parkrun is a free weekly event organised by volunteers to make running safe. It takes place in Verulamium Park over a 5k course, mostly pathways. It is currently suspended, due to the pandemic.

St Albans Half Marathon 2021 is reportedly planned to go ahead in June (13), which is open to those over the age of 11 and takes you on a route around Verulamium Park. There’s a 1.5m version for kids, a ‘wheelchair half’ and a ‘walking half’ through country lanes.

Details of local running clubs can be found online but events may be affected by coronavirus restrictions.

According to the NHS, running burns more calories than any other mainstream exercise, can aid weight loss, improve mood and help prevent long-term illness such as heart disease, stroke and type two diabetes.

It advises starting with walking, if it’s a while since you last exercised to build up fitness levels gradually.

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