Sometimes wonder how to fit in some daily exercise? Or perhaps you’re frustrated with the grind of your daily commute. Why not try out a run commute and beat the crowds? Here are our tips on how to get started.
Morning or evening run?
The first thing to consider with a run commute is whether you’re going to run in to work in the morning, or try running home in the evening. A run commute home in the evening means you don’t have to get up earlier, on the flipside, it does mean that after a tiring day in the office, it’s easy to make excuses and head for the bus instead.
By lacing up your shoes first thing in the morning, you’ll arrive at work feeling freshly invigorated and full of energy for the day ahead. You may even be pleasantly surprised by the journey time compared to your regular commute. Plus, you are in control of your arrival time at the office. No more being at the mercy of the wrong leaves on the line, cows on the tracks, tube strikes and traffic. If considering a morning run commute, you will want to make sure that your office is equipped with a shower to wash off the post-run sweats. If your workplace doesn’t have these facilities, you may want to consider a run commute home instead. Alternatively, there are now many products available such as Equip Waterless Wash and Pump It Up, designed for use when there are no showers. Keep these in your desk drawer and a change of clothes in the office and you’re good to go.
How to prepare
First of all, you want to be sure of your route. Check a map and plan which route to follow. Be mindful of busy roads during rush hour and be sure to exercise common sense.
Next, you want to do some pre-planning. Are you going to be running to work? If so, keep a supply of toiletries at your desk so you can freshen up. Keep a change of clothes and a towel in your locker, along with a bag to carry your running kit home in. You then need to think about items to carry on your commute. If you’re traveling light with just cash, cards and keys, you can get away with carrying these in pockets. We especially like the Ron Hill Trail range. Although aimed at distance runners, they make it very easier to carry various items. If you need to carry additional items such as food, iPad, laptop, etc, you will want to invest in a lightweight rucksack. If you are running home, then simply take your running kit with you in the morning. If you are going to struggle to carry items home with you, try out Home Run. Unfortunately, they are having a break at the moment but will be starting up again in future. They are a handy service offering organised runs home from work in London and they’ll even carry your stuff for you.
Fair weather running
Alfred Wainwright once said, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” Don’t be put off when the British Summer strikes with a downpour. Invest in a lightweight waterproof jacket for running. The Karrimor range at Sports Direct offers affordable and lightweight options, typically in neon colours ensuring that you’ll be seen. Merino wool socks will keep your feet warm. On cold and windy days, a Buff is by far one of the most versatile items of clothing you can own. Twist it into a skull cap to keep your head warm, wear it as a headband to protect your ears, or wear round your neck to keep your throat warm. On sunny days, you can also use it to protect your neck from the sun, or twist round your wrist as a sweatband. Suitable running gloves are also a must. These should be lightweight and windproof. We especially recommend eGlove, not only will they keep your hands warm, they are also fitted with sensors, meaning you can use your phone without needing to take them off.
So perhaps you’ve decided to take the plunge and lace up your running shoes. That’s great! But now it’s time to think about safety. Are you running along main roads? Are there suitable crossings? Are they well lit? How will drivers see you? It’s worth thinking about wearing some neon coloured clothing, especially when it’s dark, or invest in some high-vis running bands. For running at night, a head torch is a must. It will light your path and help drivers to see you. These are available in most outdoor camping shops. Many runners enjoy running with headphones, if you do decide to run with music, take care to be extra alert of what’s happening around you. Carry a mobile phone and cash at all times so if something goes wrong, you can always take the bus or a cab.
Have you tried a run-commute? We’d love to hear tips from run-commuters!