As a keen long distance runner preparing for the Athens Marathon, I had to venture outside of my favoured easy routes and up my game.
Belgrade’s hilly profile in addition to flat runs by its rivers is great for training, although our very hot and humid summers are not exactly helping the aspiring athletes.
Anyhow here are some of the nicer runs I did in the past few months that helped me train both for the uphill/downhill and simple endurance. If you are into running, do follow my more committed friend Miljan at @runningstokratia on Instagram. I also have some of my runs public on Strava.
In terms of music I cannot but recommend adding Mimi Mercedez’s “Patike za trčanje” onto your playlist. Yes ok, it is about a chick that is addicted to speed but it will help you tackle all the Belgrade uphills.
Zvezdara uphill (10k)
This mostly uphill 10k route takes you from the city centre to the Zvezdara forest. It is great if you are trying to get yourself in shape for uphill runs, and you also get to see the back streets of Vračar. You can, of course, expand it with additional 5k by going downhill more directly.
Dorćol uphill/downhill (10k)
This route was inspired by Miljan’s even more intense uphill-downhill 15k training. You can basically pick and choose how many Dorćol streets you want to cover and what is great you will almost always be in the shade.
Tour de Dedinje (23km)
A wonderful tour of the leafy Dedinje and Senjak suburbs starting from the centre of the city and finishing with the fast flat bit by the river.
Scenic half marathon (21k)
Going from the city centre via the Fortress and all the way to Gardoš and back, this half-marathon allows you to see the best of Belgrade.
Košutnjak “Golgotha” (15k)
I was taken to this intense uphill route by my super-fit former-rower friend. He told me that rowers in Partizan rowing club would be encouraged to carry their less fit friends up the steepest part of Košutnjak (he weirdly did not offer to carry 105kg of me uphill) so this is as extreme as it can get. The good part is that you end up at Ada and can take a dip in the lake (or have a cheat meal in the nearby Ada Mall).