Hit the Ground Running: Finding the Best Running Tracks Melbourne

Ready to burn some calories, shed some weight, and enjoy the beauty of nature? Head to one of the best running tracks in Melbourne and get some exercise! We’ve got plenty of beautiful spots – the Tan Track, Albert Park Lake, Princes Park, Capital City Trail, and Yarra Trails are some firm favourites. 

As Indooropilly physiotherapists, we’re here to help runners feel their best and reduce their chances of injury. Let’s dive into the top running tracks Melbourne we love, and why running is a great form of exercise. 

Top Running Tracks Melbourne 

Ready to run? Visit these Melbourne running tracks to get your sweat on. Each track offers something different, so consider your running level before you decide on one. 

Top Running Tracks in Melbourne
Top Melbourne Running Tracks to Consider

1. The Tan Track, Royal Botanic Gardens 

Tan Track is a great track for runners of all levels. This lovely 3.8 km gravel loop is fairly flat, apart from a 500 m climb at Anderson Street Hill. Beginners will enjoy the challenge, while experienced runners can use it for hill repeats. 

The route winds through the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens. You’ll enjoy sights like the National Gallery of Victoria, the Shrine of Remembrance, and the Arts Centre Spire as you run. If you go for an evening run, you’ll get an amazing view of the twinkling city lights. It’s hard to find more picturesque running places than the Tan Track. 

One of the best things about the Tan is that there’s plenty of space. You can enjoy an unrestricted run alongside others visiting the Botanic Gardens. There’s room and beauty enough for everyone. 

2. Albert Park Lake 

Albert Park Lake is one of the best runs in Melbourne, featuring a scenic 4.8 km circuit around the lake. 500 m markers make it an excellent choice for runners who want to do interval training in a non-stadium setting. Albert Park Lake isn’t far from the city centre, so it’s perfect for those who want something different from their usual city runs. You’ll enjoy thriving bird life as well as some striking views. 

Although the route is fairly flat, the breeze coming off the lake can add some resistance. Beginners might find it harder to run this track, but it’s a fun way to up the intensity of your workout! 

3. Princes Park 

This lush green route is a peaceful run, ideal for joggers who prefer tranquillity over the action of city running. Layered with tan bark, this 3.2 km track is gentle on the joints. It’s one of the most popular Melbourne running routes for easy jogging. 

Nestled amidst greenery, it’s one of the most gorgeous running tracks Melbourne offers. Level terrain means beginners can enjoy it as much as experienced runners. 500 m markers make it versatile enough for more serious interval training. 

Runners who enjoy strength training will appreciate the exercise stations throughout the park. And, if you want to run for longer, you can keep going through Royal Park, running alongside the Melbourne Zoo. 

4. Capital City Trail 

Looking for longer-distance running in Melbourne? This trail spans roughly 30 km, connecting various shorter running routes. If you’re planning a longer training run, this is a wonderful place to do it. 

If you’d prefer a shorter run, the trail is made up of multiple smaller ones. The Upfield Rail Trail, Yarra River Trail, Merri Creek Trail, Gardiners Creek Trail, and the Moonee Ponds Creek Trail are a few popular ones. 

It’s less than 5 km from the CBD at its furthest point, so you don’t have to go far to find many good runs! You could run this trail every day, and you wouldn’t get bored easily. 

5. Yarra Trails 

An enjoyable 12 km run, Yarra Trails leads you on a diverse journey through Melbourne. You’ll go through Yarra Bend Park, past the Abbotsford Convent, and alongside Collingwood Children’s Farm. 

The Yarra River features for much of the trail, and you’ll also get a view of the Yarra Bend Golf Course as you run. For adventurous runners, hit Studley Park and do some hill training. You’ll be rewarded with a magnificent view of the city once you’ve beaten the climb. 

While most of the trail is paved, some sections go off-road. Keep an eye on roots and rocks so you don’t injure your ankles! 

Is Running Good for You? 

Yes, running can be incredibly good for you, both physically and mentally. Here’s an overview of some key benefits. 

Physical Benefits 

Running improves your cardiovascular system, muscles, and bones. It’s an excellent all-round exercise. Here are some of the physical benefits you can expect. 

  • Better cardiovascular health: Running is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise. It strengthens your heart, improves blood flow, and lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. 
  • Easier weight management: Running burns a good amount of calories. It can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight (along with a healthy diet). 
  • Increased bone density: Running is a weight-bearing exercise. It helps build and maintain strong bones and reduces your risk of osteoporosis. 
  • More muscle strength: Running engages muscle groups in your legs, core, and upper body. It is especially useful for improving overall strength and endurance. 

Mental Benefits 

Running can boost your mental health too! Here’s how: 

  • Stress relief: Running releases endorphins. These natural mood boosters reduce stress and anxiety, and they ease symptoms of depression. 
  • Improved mood: The sense of accomplishment and release of feel-good chemicals can boost your mood! 
  • Better sleep: Regular running can help you fall asleep faster, sleep more deeply, and feel more rested.
  • Mental sharpness: Running increases blood flow to the brain. This can improve focus, memory, and cognitive function. 

The Runner and the Running Tracks Melbourne: 

Matching Needs to Surfaces 

Some tracks are harder on the body than others. Pick your ideal Melbourne running track based on the surface and you’ll notice a difference! Your performance will improve and injuries will decrease. Here’s our advice. 

New Runners 

Start with softer tracks (grass, dirt, or tan). As a newbie, your body is still adapting to the impact of running. These surfaces can help prevent common overuse injuries

Injury Recovery 

Getting back into running after injury? Your physiotherapist might recommend softer surfaces to reduce stress during a rehab program. Choose soft trails or stadium running tracks in Melbourne. 

Experienced and Injury-Free 

If you’ve got no restrictions, athletics tracks are brilliant for structured workouts. Paved paths may be a convenient choice, but regular running on them can be hard on the joints. 

Variety is Key 

Even healthy runners can benefit from mixing up their surfaces! This helps strengthen different muscle groups and keeps running interesting. Plus, your joints will get a break from harsh surfaces, which reduces the chance of injury. 

Running Safely and Preventing Injuries 

Start Slowly

If you’re new to running, start with short distances. Gradually increase your mileage and intensity. A good rule of thumb is to increase your weekly mileage by no more than 10%. This goes a long way towards preventing injury. 

Warm-Up and Cool-Down 

Always include dynamic stretches before a run to warm up your muscles. You could also do some gentle jogging to loosen up your muscles and get your blood flowing. Follow your runs with static stretches to flush out lactic acid and improve flexibility. 

Proper Form

Good running form lowers the risk of impact-related injuries. Think about consulting a physiotherapist or running coach to assess your technique. From there, you can refine it. 

Rest and Recovery

Your body needs time to repair and rebuild after a run. Schedule rest days into your training plan and if you experience pain, take a break. Breaks are as important as actually running! 


Don’t neglect other forms of exercise. Strength training, yoga, or swimming can be valuable complements to running. They help develop overall fitness, prevent overuse injuries, and add variety to your workouts. 

Listen to Your Body 

Rest when you need to. Don’t push through pain! Seek professional advice if you have discomfort that doesn’t go away. Trust us – this will help you boost your performance and become a better runner. 

Physiotherapy and Running 

Don’t continue running with stiffness, restricted range of motion, or pain. Physiotherapy can fix issues that stop you from becoming the best runner you can be! Here’s how: 

  • Injury prevention: Our physiotherapists will assess your running form. They can identify potential risk factors and tailor strength exercises to minimise injuries
  • Injury treatment: If you get injured, we can create a personal rehabilitation plan. This will get you back on track quickly and effectively.
  • Performance enhancement: We can analyse your running gait and provide guidance on footwear, training plans, and recovery techniques. The goal is to maximise your performance. 

Align Health Collective’s experienced physiotherapists are passionate about helping runners of all levels. We offer comprehensive running assessments, injury treatment, and personalised programs to help you achieve your running goals safely and effectively. Contact us today to book an appointment and become the runner you’ve always dreamt of being.

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