As fond of sports as we may be, there comes a time of year when it feels like an uphill struggle trying to get out and do things regularly. The cold, the humidity, those same lonely streets as always and the effort of having to get to more open areas of the city to do sports in peace and quiet – these are some of the factors that make many of us throw in the towel.
How do you keep to your sporting routine during these cold winter months? Easy: start practising your favourite sport in one of the best-known parks in the city: parks such as El Retiro in Madrid, where activities such as power walking has become all the rage.
Perfectly connected with the centre and in a strategic location (very near our hotels Petit Palace Savoy Alfonso XII, Petit Palace Lealtad Plaza and Petit Palace Art Gallery), the park par excellence in Madrid is the best choice for those who want to stick to the habit of going running or power walking. Power walking is a new way of walking that stimulates circulation in your legs, strengthening your muscles and breathing capacity.
With its ponds and lush woods, El Retiro is an urban park of huge dimensions (more than 120 hectares) and as such an ideal place for power walking. There are trails between three and five kilometres long that can turn an ordinary sports session into an experience both urban and natural at the same time.
Ideal times for power walking and recommendations
Picking El Retiro park as a training location isn’t a new phenomenon, but it’s true that during the last couple of years the running fever has turned this place into something of an official meeting point and as such a place that can be rather crowded at specific times. The key? Try to avoid the peak hours for people who go there to run (being first thing in the morning and late in the afternoon).
Another drawback is the paving in this Madrid park. Even if there are areas where you can run or walk without problems, it does get a bit complicated when you try stretches covered with so-called albero, that is: sand. Given that you can’t well change shoes at that point, it is advisable to go slower along those stretches so you won’t slip or slide, and avoid unnecessary falls (especially when it’s wet).