Best places to run in Spain

Looking for a City with some pleasant places to run a decent distance in preparation for the 2015 London Marathon

9 messages
13/05/2014 at 14:35

Hi all, I want to escape the winter months in the UK and head to Spain for the final few months of training for the London Marathon in April 2015. I'm looking for a reasonable climate that doesn't get too cold - That's what I'm trying to escape from - so places like Madrid over those months might not work as I believe it gets very cold in winter. The Canaries appear both too hot and too small for nice long runs so I'm thinking somewhere in Andalusia perhaps. Maybe Almeria, Cadiz, Granada - I'm open to all suggestions. Where has a nice amount of (perhaps green) open space where you can run a reasonable distance (10 miles or so) but is also close enough to a city where I can also attend a Spanish school to take Spanish classes - Am I asking too much? I appraoched the Spanish Tourist Board and they told me they don't provide personalised advice. Then what are they there for?  :-/

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated - Thanks all

13/05/2014 at 17:41

Madrid doesn't get cold in the winter in the same way that the UK does - unless you go to the mountains, where you can ski! But it isn't t-shirt and shorts weather either

The south is warmer, there are some lovely cities in Spain, and all have lots of open space, there is more of a culture of living outdoors. 

Just pick somewhere you fancy going and see if there will be somewhere to have Spanish classes. Barcelona is a great city

13/05/2014 at 17:50

Thanks for the reply mathschick. As much as I love Barcelona, I've sort of done it really. On further investigation it has been suggested that Valencia might be just what I'm looking for. I guess Madrid could also be back on the cards then (although I suspect Madrid would be quite pricey).....  Anyone run in Valencia before....?  

13/05/2014 at 18:05

I used to live in a place called Alcala de Henares, just outside Madrid, though the commuter sprawl has taken over a bit since I was there in the 90s. Beautiful historic town though with easy access to Madrid

Valencia is nice. Most of Spain is lovely to be honest, just stay away from the tourist resorts! 

Northern Spain is greener and mountainous, but chillier in the winter. The coast will always be cooler. 

They do have horrendous unemployment and political problems at the moment though...

13/05/2014 at 18:26

Thanks again for the advice. I do like Madrid as well. Maybe I'll do a tour of Spain beforehand and explore a bit.... It's a good excuse  

13/05/2014 at 18:27

14/05/2014 at 09:27

You could contact Paul Bateson at TrailRunSpain and see what he can offer. He normally caters for shorter breaks, but he has a house at his disposal so would possibly be open to arrangements of a longer term. His small running company is based around the hilly small town of Alhama de Granada.Or if you make your own arrangements he'd make an excellent guide for trails on a bespoke basis. Paul is an ex-cyclist of high calibre so he also has connections for that.

There is a small British expat community (handful) there who semi-jokingly ask you not to spread the word and spoil things when you visit and fall in love with the place. You also get to know a few extreme runners and the like, which could be nice. You can get an impression of the place (and also Malaga and Granada) from this facebook album.

I've stayed there for a week at christmases 2012 and 2013 for spring marathons. Running in the daytime is fine, but it can get a bit chilly in the evening because it's quite high. It's a bit of a drive to a big town down from the mountains, so I wouldn't want to do it every day, but Malaga and Granada are within striking distance. Having stayed there last christmas, also with a side-trip to Morocco organized by Paul, I got a pb in Boston mara in April, 6 mins faster than my qualifying time, which is pretty unusual, so I know the trails and climbing will do good for your running!

PS I forgot to say he's also the race director for the Al Andalus Ultimate Trail (stage race) which also has more pictures on the website, and a tight-knit virtual community around it.

Edited: 14/05/2014 at 09:31
14/05/2014 at 10:12

That's some really great info SteveCRunner. Thanks so much for that. I'll contact Paul and see if he can help me. I do love Granada as well. I went there last year for the first time and had a great time.

14/05/2014 at 15:45

Well if you do, tell him Steve and Mags expect a good deal next time  Seriously, if you or he don't sort something together, then he has many connections in the Spain running world that I'm sure could help out, and also expats that have small ordinary holiday businesses, lets, etc. (including a lovely lady Kritzlynn Al Taib from Hidden Morocco and Andalucia Tours, who organized the Morocco Rif mountain leg I mentioned.)


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