After all the hype of the Spring Marathon season, maybe you are considering dusting off your running shoes and lacing them up. But wait, you have so many commitments, it makes it hard to get into routine, and running takes a back seat before you’ve even got into a proper routine. Enter the Run Commute – an easy way to introduce regular running into your schedule which takes up little/or no extra time out of your day. Here are some of my top tips and tricks for a successful run commute.
1. Don’t run it all – go partial
I live about 9 miles from my office, but after a long day in the office, a nice 3-4 mile run is much more the distance I’d like to run – here’s where the partial run commute comes in. I’ve worked out a few different routes, which let me run to a train station, or run alongside a bus route – allowing me to mix and match between public transport and foot transport. Or if you drive to work, you could potentially drive part of the route, park up and run the rest of the way.
Top Tip: Test out your routes on your lunch break on an online mapping site 🗺️, allowing you to track the distance, and check out local transport, and parking options.
2. Run home
I find running home, easier than running to the office. I don’t have any big time pressure to get home at a certain time, whereas if I run to the office, of course I need to be there at a certain time ready to work. You don’t need the added stress of having to be at the office, and then having to run a certain pace to achieve that, you’ll probably hit every red light, and get stressed out.
3. No shower 🚿 no problem
So I usually run home, meaning that not having a shower in the office is not an issue, but sometimes I do run to the office. Do I sit there and stink out my colleagues with my sweaty self? Nope, I’ve perfected a baby wipe wash, extra deodorant, and dry shampoo routine that makes me appear shower fresh. But if that fills you with fear, then you can check out if any of your local gyms, have a shower only membership?
Top Tip: Get a small toiletry pack in your desk drawer, my essentials: wipes, perfume, deodorant, face powder, and mascara
4. Leave the laptop
When I run home from the office I run with a belt or small vest/pack (I use this one), with just my bank card, water, and phone. I always try to plan my run home days, on days when I am staying in the office later, and know I will arrive earlier the next day, thus minimising time away from my precious laptop. But if leaving your work laptop at work makes you break out into a cold sweat, you could try a special backpack that allows you to carry it (like this one), or better yet, make sure you know your webmail username and password (and any other urls and logins) which would allow you to work remotely from another machine.
Top Tip: If you have an IT department, check with them about accessing your work-systems remotely from another computer, or they might even have an old laptop knocking about which you could get set up and leave at home.
5. What to wear
I always have a pair of shoes, a cardigan, coat, and handbag in the office, just in case. My nightmare scenario would be having to wear a running jacket with my work clothes 🙈 or worse yet, having to wear my running shoes with tights and a dress. So on those days when I am run commuting, an outfit can come together, as easily as a light weight dress and tights 👗, which take up next to no space in a small pack.
Top Tip: Leave a few essentials in the office, my picks: shoes, coat, handbag
Now that you have some tips and suggestions, you can start planning your run commute. Here is my routine, I work in the office 3 days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) and try to active commute everyday, either on bike or foot.
Monday – cycle commute day
Things to remember: take laptop in backpack along with change of clothes
- 🚲 Ride bicycle into office
- 🚲 Ride bicycle home
Tuesday – bicycle/run commute day
Things to remember: stay later in the office, bring laptop in pack with changes of clothes on bike in the morning, make sure I have running belt, running sports bra, ear phones for music for the run home
- 🚲 Ride bicycle into office
- 🏃Run home (partial commute about 4.5 miles – then jump on train for the rest of the journey)
Wednesday – bus or run/bicycle commute day
Things to remember: Office keys, if I am coming early and will be the first one in, if on bus – clothes to cycle home in, or if I am running – work clothes to wear today
- Option A: 🚌Take the bus in for whole journey, Option B: 🏃Partial run commute (about 3.5 miles) to the train station, and then take the train the rest of the journey in
- 🚲 Ride bicycle home
A final thought – don’t be too rigid about it
So it can take quite a bit of planning to make it work, but once you have yourself sorted out, you’ll be set. That is until of course, life gets in the way. We all know that late meetings, family plans, or general tiredness could derail your new run commute routine, and that’s totally fine. Remember to be flexible, and if you can’t do it, don’t stress.