Originally from Canberra, I moved to Melbourne for study. You might say that my life is much like this sentence - it began with a capital. Now, having spent a few years in Melbourne, I share my experiences of each city.
Published June 20th 2013
Stop the rot, lay some tracks down at Prinny
If looking for somewhere to start (or continue) a fitness regime, Princes Park could be a good option. Situated just north of the Melbourne CBD and known to those who frequent the Park as 'Prinny', the location has some character to it. At the perimeter of the grounds is a running track measuring 3.2 kilometres.
Map of Princes Park
There are five reasons why one might like to run at 'Prinny'.
1. It's central.
Wherever you are in Melbourne, Princes Park is unlikely to be more than a 20 minute drive away.
2. It's picturesque.
Filled with green sporting fields and neighboured by the Melbourne Cemetery on one side, Princes Park feels like a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city; a sanctuary of fitness and recreational activity.
Everybody on the track at Princes Park has the same goal: to keep fit. There's no pressure and no expectation. Options for quiet running locations such as this grow fewer as the Melbourne roads get busier.
4. It's easy on the knees.
The running track is a soft gravel underfoot and very flat, meaning you can keep a steady pace and not worry about ruining any cartilage.
5. The 3.2 kilometre distance.
This is the perfect distance for beginners and athletes alike. Beginners probably don't want to, or are not capable of, spending too much time running or walking. At a slow jog, a complete lap of Princes Park will take around 20 minutes. At walking pace, it might take around 30 minutes for a lap.
For elite runners, a 3 kilometre run is just about the toughest distance there is. It is short enough to maintain a high intensity and long enough to get a decent workout. Roughly the same amount of time is spent running as with the notorious fitness benchmark, 'the beep test'. The 10 minute barrier is the ultimate goal: professional football players struggle to break this mark. A good time is below 13 minutes.
The clincher? After running at Princes Park, you can join the masses in referring to the park as, 'Prinny'.