The Long and Winding Road

I’ve always found peace of mind when it came to exercise and sports. I ran track and field at 12 years old and enjoyed it until I was diagnosed with Asthma at 13. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been on a personal journey for self improvement and decided to become a part of the Harlem Run family 5 months ago in an effort to stay physically fit and mentally healthy. Over the last 14 months, I’ve managed to shed 45 pounds thus far.


My experience with Harlem Run has been rather encouraging. I know a lot of the members outside of running but it’s been great getting to know them better through another outlet. Running has also helped me as a form of therapy. I’ve suffered quite a few tragedies and personal losses over the years and I now use running as a way to release emotions and pain that still exists within me.

As an struggling asthmatic, I’ve always had the fear of triggering it through physical activity but since I’ve started running, I moved up in 2 different minute groups therefore keeping it under control. And as I prepare to start my training for the 2019 NYC Marathon which I will take this challenge head on with courage and support.


I am very grateful for the opportunity to be able to grow through intellect, athleticism and resolve and I must thank the Harlem Run Family for the overwhelming support.



Amir FigueroaComment
The Workouts of #HarlemGetsFit

Week in and week out we put in work together. Whether we are getting faster or stronger, we get fit. For those who’ve joined us on more occasion than one, this may be a refresher, but for those who will be joining us soon, we wanted to breakdown our Thursday night speed workouts.

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Hill Repeats

Our normal location for this workout is Harlem Hill at the north side of Central Park. It’s always about working in teams. We head out in groups of similar speeds, which also includes walkers and run/walkers. We start out at the bottom of the hill and run all the way to the top at about 85-90% and then either a jog or walk back down. That is one rep. After three reps we go to the opposite side and do another three reps. Some choose the alternative of doing fewer reps depending on their own personal fitness.

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Marcus Garvey Park is home to our annual #Harlem1Miler, and the location for this workout. It happens to have four sides, which will serve as our square. We head out in groups of similar speeds and run two sides of the park. Half run towards one side of the park and the half run towards the opposite side of the park. When the other side is reached, each group waits exactly two minutes. After that they head out to complete the other two sides of the park. Each group repeats that two more times for a total of three. Alternatives of few reps are always optional depending on your level of fitness.

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Groups of similar speeds go out together and run in single file. Once the group is ready, the person in the front gives the signal to start. The last person in line sprints all the way to the front of the line and returns to the moderate pace. This is repeated for 2-3 times as each group follows the one-mile, upper loop of Central Park.

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This sequence of numbers can be broken down as follows: 3 minutes on, 2 minutes off, 1 minute on, 2 minutes off. Then you repeat it all over again for roughly 30 minutes of speedwork. When you are on you are putting out 90% of effort. When you are off you are either walking or jogging.

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This is simply 3 minutes of hard effort, and 3 minutes of recovery. Recovery can be walking or jogging. Just be sure to keep it moving and don’t come to an immediate halt. The Great Hill in the northwest part of Central Park is home to this workout.

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The key to any tempo run is maintaining a consistent and specific pace. Joining groups of similar speed and pace hold everyone accountable in pushing each other. We go out at about a 90% effort circle the Harlem Meer in the northeast part of Central Park. We generally stay within 30-45 minutes of speedwork, but the goal is a specific distance.

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We are no stranger to stairs thanks our #HarlemRunStairs event, but every now and again we will utilize either Morningside Park or St. Nicholas Park. With a 20 minute time limit, the goal is to run up and down and cover as many stairs as you can. In some cases there are a lot of stairs to cover, so we offer modified versions for our walkers and run/walkers.

As with all of our workouts, HGF speed workouts welcome all ages, abilities, and performance levels. Whether you are a speed demon or are just beginning to build up your strength, these nights are for you! We hope to see you out with us on a Thursday night.

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- HR Captains & HGF Regulars

Amir FigueroaComment
Harlem Run News - August 2018

Hey everyone! Happy August. We hope the summer is treating you well and you're enjoying the beautiful weather while staying hydrated and healthy. For those doing long runs and training for fall marathons, we salute you! We have a few things coming up this month ... here they are:

August 13: School Supply Drive with #TakeCareOfHarlem

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Join us for our regular MNR, but meet up at Harlem Haberdashery (245 Lenox) with school supplies in tow! See the Facebook page in the previous link for the supplies that are most in-demand. See you there!

August 25: UA Mountain Running Series - Killington Mountain, VT

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Throughout the summer we've been showing you our journeys around the country for Under Armour's Mountain Running Series. At the end of this month, we're headed to Vermont! Stay tuned to social media for updates and cheer on our runners virtually. 

August 25: Percy Sutton 5K

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And last but certainly not least -- New York Road Runners comes to our backyard! On Saturday, August 25 at 8:30am runners will go through the streets that we love ... so let's show them our love. If you're not running, come out to cheer and join our after-party at Harlem Tavern afterwards for food & drink specials.

 ... and that's a wrap on August! We hope to see you at all or some of these events. Drop any questions in the comments section!

- HR Captains