Beginner Routes in Headingley

David Furniss

I have been running around Leeds for many years, but there is one area in Headingley/Burley that has always stuck in my head when trying to develop my ability. A simple loop that I developed into three variations when introducing new runners.


Route one – The beginner route

This route is for when you start out as a runner. Nothing too strenuous, with a slight incline at the beginning, leading to mainly flat areas before a steady  slight decline towards the end of the run, enabling you to recover slightly. Running mainly on side roads, and along two main roads, but no need to cross either.


Route two – Getting fitter

Same start as route one, but crossing a road which starts the second section and a steady hill before the plateau and the downwards phase, again crossing the same road before leading onto the end section of route one.


Route three – Game changer

Same start and middle section from previous two routes, however, continuing on the main road for a longer distance, all steady downhill running before a slight uphill stint towards the very end of the run. Increasing the distance, but not feeling it too much as you are running downhill but increasing fitness levels regardless.


Route one, two and three combined make lap 1. I like to break down the laps into lap 0.3, 0.6 and 1. So once you are happy with completing one lap, but don’t feel like you can do another one, you add on one section e.g. lap 1 route one (1.3). Slowly building up from there to 1.6 and eventually two laps and three laps etc etc


Approaching the run:

Depending on where you are starting the run (recommended start beechwood mount) the uphill phase is straight away, so don’t set off too quickly and hard, as you will become extremely tired on the long section along Kirkstall Lane. A slow pace enables you to tackle the hill without wasting too much energy and enough to comfortably run the rest of the route with an easier finish than start.


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