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Runners fill the streets of Hollywood at last year's 2014 LA Marathon
Photograph: Courtesy of Jakob N. LaymanRunners fill the streets of Hollywood at last year's 2014 LA Marathon

3 great places to get in that LA Marathon training

Written by
Matt Mills

If you’re one of the more than 25,000 entrants into the upcoming 30th LA Marathon, hopefully you’re well into your training for the 26.2-mile “Stadium to the Sea” course. If you’re just starting your training or haven’t yet found the motivation to hit the roads, then you better get at it—or come March 15, it could be a very long and tough day.

While runners back east brave "Snowmageddon," we Angelenos have the luxury of 70 and 80 degree temperatures, along with a plethora of great trails and scenery. However, in the crunch of training, work and well, may need a short list of where you can get those long runs, interval sessions or just some easy jogs in prior to race day.

The spot to accidentally run longer than anticipated: Griffith Park boasts over 4,000 acres, making it one of the largest urban parks in the country. On a clear day you can get some of the best views of the city and now you can even run up to the Hollywood sign. Because the park is vast, it can be easy to get lost on the many broad dirt trails, making it a great place to add up the mileage or get in a good hill workout.  

The spot to make your East Coast running friends jealous: The Marvin Braude Bike Trail, also referred to as “The Strand,” stretches 22 miles along the coast from Malibu to Redondo Beach. It's a great run spot if you are up for a mid-winter trip to the beach. It’s also the best place for an uninterrupted run away from car traffic, though parts of the path can get crowded with pedestrians, rollerbladers, skateboarders and cyclists. Beware of the “bike only” areas as you might risk getting some dirty looks from cyclists yelling at you to “share the road!”   

The spot to make you think Los Angeles actually has grass: Looking for some soft grassy ground to run on in LA can prove to be quite elusive, and getting off road is a welcome respite for your tired legs during marathon training. The San Vicente Median Strip that stretches from Brentwood to Santa Monica is a well maintained, broad, grass-covered “trail” that is often populated with runners of all abilities getting in a run off the concrete and on the soft stuff. And because the last miles of the LA Marathon trek down San Vicente, it’s a great training run to help visualize the finishing stretch of the race.

Will you be cheering someone on at the marathon this year? Here are the best places to wine and dine yourself, while others run themselves into exhaustion.

Running in Santa Monica? If so, you may have seen these people.

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