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A Guide for Runners in Madison

Madison is the holy grail, go-to spot for runners. The city offers a multitude of running trails, clubs and local gear shops to fit any runner’s needs, regardless of their level. With the weather at the perfect middle between summer and fall, it’s running season and we have you covered with tips for beginners and seasoned athletes.  

Where to Get The Right Equipment 

Running is a minimalistic sport. It doesn’t require knee or shoulder pads; just a great pair of great shoes, a water bottle and fitted clothing. For runners who compete in marathons and run competitively, having more gear is a necessity to help train, like an elevation mask or oxygen monitor. All running styles will require gear, and here is where to find it. 

Play It Again Sports Madison on Odana Road is the local go-to for buying running shoes, sports equipment and much more. The outlet also allows you to sell your worn goods, making it the perfect place to recycle your retired shoes or trade-in your equipment for a great bargain. If you are close to South Park Street, check out Movin’ Shoes. The longtime running store has been around for ages and offers running shoes, nutritional items, clothing and anything else a runner might dream of. Movin’ Shoes is great for more than purchasing gear. It is also the perfect spot for beginners who are looking for a running club to join as the shop hosts a weekly, novice-friendly run every Sunday. 

Join a Runner’s Club

You don’t have to be the next Usain Bolt to join a runner’s club. There is a multitude of clubs available for members that offer different levels and styles of running. It’s a great way to dip your toes in as a beginner and allows you the opportunity to meet other runners and explore new trails. There are endless running groups in Madison, but here are a few favorites to help you narrow down your options. 

Wellness Runners Club

The wellness hub is run by a personal trainer and coach, Alexa Richardson. The club teaches strengthening workouts, runs tailored to a group’s ability and one-on-one coaching to help each member meet their own running goals. 

Harbor Running Club 

Perfect for family-friendly runs and moms with strollers, Harbor Running Club offers outdoor treks, community runs in neighborhoods and more.

Madison Hash House Harriers 

A 21-plus runners club is hosted every Saturday with a goal to find a treasure: an ice-cold beer. The club runs through trails, streets, parks, anywhere that helps lead them to a bar as fast as possible for their reward.   

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Madison Trail Favorites

Where you run is important. Every runner has their favorite route, and regardless of your activity level, we have just the perfect spots for you.

Lake Monona is perfect for both seasoned runners and novices. The lake offers picture-perfect waterfront views and features an 11-mile long loop around its waters. For beginner joggers, Monona Bay is an easier option just a few miles up the road. The spot offers a shorter run, with endless water views to keep you entertained. 

About a 2-mile run, State Street in Downtown Madison is perfect for families and gathering a venture with friends. The paved trail is easier on the little ones and takes you into the heart of Madison’s arts, food and cultural district. Make the trek, and enjoy the stops along the way. 

For seasoned runners, Devil’s Lake offers a challenging 7-mile trail around Devil’s Lake edges, just a half-hour drive north of Madison. The trail is rocky, with unforgettable scenic views. The trail loops around the lake and has benches for rest points along its path. 

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