Spring is the time of year when Philadelphians come out of hibernation. Ready to shed their winter coat (which was fueled primarily by cheesesteaks and beer), citizens are anxious to lose a few pounds in preparation for more boozing at their shore house. This plethora of “new” runners can wreak havoc on those who have been pounding the pavement through the brutally cold and snowy days, making the once roomy Schuykill River Trail seem like a 5-mile game of dodge ball.
In order to avoid the masses, one doesn’t have to avoid the tow path completely. Instead of running after work, when the path is littered with everyone from sun-bathers to high school track teams, attempt a morning workout. These days, it gets light outside before 6 a.m., which means you won’t have to purchase much reflective gear (although it is a good excuse to peruse the local sports stores). Early morning running also means that your speed may actually increase due to the lack of leisurely walkers, bikers, and random rollerbladers that seem to appear out of nowhere.
If getting up before the sun makes you wince, convince a friend or significant other to be your running buddy, even if it takes you buying them a beer before they surrender to your request. Not only will you feel great after completing your run, but you will no longer dread hitting up the trail during rush hour. Just be sure to make your coffee extra strong afterward!