Post- Magazine

a beginner’s guide to running in providence [lifestyle]

advice on paths, attire, and more

As a first-year from across the country, I had no idea where to begin running. I knew I couldn’t run through campus—people looking at me? Being perceived? Absolutely not. But I had just gotten here and knew nothing about the city of Providence, aside from the fact that there once was a mayor who had a signature marinara sauce. 

You may be wondering: what makes me, some random Brown University sophomore, qualified to dispense running advice in the illustrious post- magazine? I’ve been a distance runner since my first year of high school when I—someone with unathletic genes and no experience with competitive running—decided to join my school’s cross country team. This is how I found myself at Brown in the fall of 2022, one marathon and two half-marathons later, ready to train for my next race. 


To save you some time, here are the tips and tricks I would give to my first-year self for running in Providence. 

1. Choose your outfit wisely. 

While your black-yoga-pants-and-sports-bra combo is cute, it’s not practical once the leaves begin to fall. Check the weather app and craft the fit appropriately. I’m a big fan of a long-sleeve cotton shirt with knee length shorts combo—it’s not fashionable, but it works. 

Also, whether you’re wearing ankle-length yoga pants or short shorts, the cuteness of the fit won’t change how many times you get catcalled. So if you want to wear your tight black tank top because you feel faster in it, do it. 

2. Food is fuel.  


Though there are people who can run on an empty stomach and enjoy it, I'm certainly not one. Before my runs, I need to eat something, whether it’s a Ratty omelet or a Blue Room breakfast sandwich.

Listen to your body. Whenever I’m training, I often find myself needing two dinners: an Andrews/Ratty extravaganza during normal hours and then an Ivy Room or Josiah’s second dinner. Listen to what your body needs, otherwise you’ll end up lightheaded by the pedestrian bridge, cursing Brown University for being built on a tall hill.

3. Keep in mind your distance when choosing a route. 

A run is a run, whether it’s a mile or a marathon. However, not all routes are created equal in Providence. 

If you’re looking for a two to three mile route, running to the pedestrian bridge by the river or India Point Park is perfect for you. With waterfront views on both of these routes, you’ll really feel like you’re in the Ocean State. I recommend listening to “august” by Taylor Swift for added effect. 

If you’re looking for something with a little more distance, let’s say, in the five to eight mile range, the Blackstone Bike Path by the Nelson is your soulmate. With fairy doors built into the bottoms of the trees, it’s strangely whimsical and my personal favorite. I recommend hitting the trail as the leaves begin to turn yellow—half of my camera roll from freshman year fall is of the trees on the Blackstone Bike Path. 

If you’re trying for a hefty run in the ten-plus mile range, you’ll have to leave Providence if you don’t want to run in loops. I recommend the East Bay Bike Path, accessed through India Point Park. With stunning views and so many trees you’ll feel like you’re a seasoned trail runner, it’s the perfect destination for a run that can be as long as you need it to be. Be warned—the farther you go on the path, the more deserted it gets. However, if you go on a weekend, there’ll definitely be bikers whizzing by every few minutes.

4. Consider your positionality. 

While male-presenting people can throw on a pair of running shoes and head out the door without a second thought, femme runners should exercise common sense. If you’re going on a particularly long run on the East Bay Bike Path on a weekday, for example, it’s a good idea to let your roommate know and share your location with someone you trust, especially if it’s closer to the evening. I personally take my pepper spray with me on my runs, but that’s just me. 

Though some might consider this step in my guide overkill, I don’t! Femme safety is not discussed enough in the running community when it’s actually a crucial part of our daily experiences.

5. Okay. But why should I do this? 

In the past, running has made me nauseous, given me shin splints, and taken up entire Saturdays I could have spent rotting in bed. So why do it? There are the obvious reasons—the endorphins, it being good for your cardiovascular system, etc.—of course. But there are also the unexpected moments that restore your faith in humanity: toddlers sticking out their hands to high-five you, a group of moms telling you, “Go, girl, go!” as you slog up College Hill. 

Running is a lovely way to get to know Providence and the city in which you, as a reader of post- magazine, likely go to college. While it can be easy to hole up on College Hill and get trapped in the anxiety-inducing bubble of Canvas posts and summer internships, a jog off the hill is one way to remind yourself that you are a person, with lungs and a heart, who is more than just a student. As your feet navigate the treacherous tree roots that line the brick-laid sidewalks, listen to your heartbeat in your ears and remember that you, in your flawed entirety, are enough. 

Indigo Mudbhary

Indigo Mudbhary is a University news senior staff writer covering student government. In her free time, she enjoys running around Providence and finding new routes.

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