We find time to run before work, after work, and sometimes at lunch time whilst at work. So why don’t more of us run to work?
There can be a few practical obstacles to overcome, but the benefits can be well worth the effort. Running is not only great for your health … running to work can save you money, help the environment, and help to reduce the number of cars on our roads.
You won’t be surprised to hear, therefore, that we think running to work is a great idea, if you are able to do so. To help you on your way we have pulled together this handy guide to the ‘run-commute’, with links to some useful products you can pick up from Runners Need (check out our offers to see how you could save!).
Tips for the best run-commute
Scope out your workplace
Know your workplace; Are there showers? Are there places to hang wet runners kit, or to plug in your hairdryer? If you have any colleagues that run or cycle in, ask them about their morning routines and how they store their activewear.
If your workplace doesn’t have the facilities you need, don’t just suffer in silence. First of all, raise it with your employer. It can be in their interest as well as yours if you run to work, so they may be willing to support you. Tell them to check out this handy guide to providing workplace facilities.
If you still find yourself short of somewhere to shower, perhaps look at any gyms close to your workplace where you could use the facilities.
Consider running home, or part of the way
If you can’t shower at work, why not just run home? Depending on the length of your journey, a one-way run-commute is enough to give you a good workout and then you can wash at home. You also don’t have to worry about your clothes being crumpled when you get to work. Carry your day’s clothes home from work in your backpack or take it home on your rest day.
If your workplace is too far to run all of the way, why not consider running the last mile from the train station, or jump off the bus early. For anyone wanting to squeeze some miles into a busy schedule, this can be the perfect solution.
Plan your route ahead
Having just moved into your new home you might be totally unfamiliar with the route to work or you may be totally new to the run-commute, so it is best to plan your route ahead. Google Maps is a great place to start as not only does it let you plan a route on foot, but it also shows you the elevation along your route.
Once you know where you are heading, it’s a good idea to give it a test run. Could you run your route on a weekend to see how it goes?
What kit do you need?
Thankfully, you don’t need a great deal to get out there and start running to work. It’s one of the beauty’s of it, and for some a good pair of comfy running shoes is all you need. There are some ways to make life easier, however, both on your journey and once you reach work.
Like all running kit, the right running shoes are vital. If your commute is mostly on roads or pavements, you’ll need a good pair of road running shoes for support and cushioning.
Get your gait analysed at your local Runners Need store for free and find the best running shoes for you. Using video technology to analyse how your feet respond to every step, the Runners Need expert fitters can assess your biomechanics and running style to ensure you’re running in the perfect trainers.
Be prepared whatever the weather throws at you by wearing or packing a lightweight running jacket. First and foremost, it should be sweat-wicking and breathable to keep you cool and comfortable. Then you can choose between water-resistant (showerproof) and waterproof depending on your needs. Look out for features like high visibility and reflective detail.
A lightweight running backpack is essential for running to and from work. A running specific backpack will minimise bounce and evenly spread the weight of your kit across your back for a more comfortable trip. If you have little storage space at work look for a running backpack with around 20 litres; if you need less storage space, you can go for a smaller bag.
It is also a good idea to pick savvy. Think about what you can leave in your locker, desk drawer, or changing rooms and what you need to bring in every day. Some belongings that might be useful to leave at work could be:
- Smart shoes
- Loose change
- Baby wipes