Running is one of the best and simplest ways to get fit and stay fit, and has the potential to take you from basic couch-to-5k programmes all the way to ultra-marathons (if you want to).
If you’re just starting out on your running journey, this guide will give you a training programme to get you going. And whether you’re completely new or an experienced runner, we’ve also put together a list of some of Dubai’s best running clubs, for people at all levels.
Register for Dubai Fitness Challenge, and you can also get plenty of helpful advice and information on running in the city – as well as motivation to keep going towards your fitness goals.
The beauty of running is its simplicity: all you need is a place to run, comfortable clothes and some good shoes, and the motivation to do it.
But while it can be that simple, it’s often worth taking the time to research a training plan that suits your current level of fitness, as well as your goals. Thankfully this is very easy, with plenty of plans, apps and guides on getting started with running available.
We’ve chosen a 30-day programme from DAREBEE which will take you from walking to running. We like its alternating sets of short runs with walking, which build up over time. On the first day you’ll only run for one minute at a time – and by day 30, you’ll be up to 20 minutes running in total for the day.
If this programme isn’t for you, don’t worry – there are many more to choose from. During Dubai Fitness Challenge, you’ll also find plenty of clubs and trainers who can provide free advice – so this is the perfect time to make a start.
WHERE TO RUN IN DUBAI
Dubai’s fitness scene is booming, and this means there are plenty of great places to go for a run in the city.
You can find dedicated running tracks along the coast at Kite Beach, as well as around Safa Park and Zabeel Park – all of these are cushioned tracks, helping ease the pressure on your joints and feet. The Kite Beach track is 14km, the Safa Park track is 3.5km, and the Zabeel Park track is 2km.
Other municipal parks in Dubai are also great for running, with Dubai Creekside Park and Mushrif Park popular with runners – the latter also offers some more challenging hills, a rarity in mostly-flat Dubai.
Dubai Marina is a popular running spot, with its nearly-5km track which takes you around the curves of one of Dubai’s most fashionable districts. This can be a great choice if you’re just getting started, as there are plenty of places to get refreshed – or to act as a goal to motivate you. But be aware the marina is also a popular place for people to walk in the evenings, so time your run accordingly.
One of the most striking running sites in the city is the Palm Jumeirah – head to the crescent for an 11km track, or stick to the trunk for a 4km route along the shoreline.
Dubai Creek is also a popular running spot, with plenty of stretches of wide, well-maintained pathways alongside the water – although again, it can get busy with pedestrians at certain times of the day.
FIND A RUNNING GROUP IN DUBAI
Running with a group can be one of the best ways to stay motivated and get support – as well as to make friends and become part of a social group. And for more experienced runners, groups offer the chance to compete at a higher level.
There are plenty of running groups and clubs in Dubai – we’ve listed a few of the most established ones below.
Desert Road Runners: Probably the oldest running club in Dubai, founded in 1989, and offers weekly runs, as well as other regular events.
ASICS FrontRunner: Organised by the foot-ware brand, the FrontRunner club is by application, and open to runners of all ability who are passionate about the sport.
Dubai Creek Striders: This club offers regular runs alongside Dubai Creek, for runners of all abilities – and also organises 10km and half-marathon events every year.