Your guide to running to work
It's not as crazy as it sounds – you can become someone who runs to work. Here's how to get started.
Running to work is a clever way to fit a workout into your day early on – and it's a refreshing alternative to sitting in traffic or being crushed on a crowed train. By getting your blood pumping, you'll arrive at work feeling positive and energised, ready to take on the day.
It might sound awkward and difficult, but with a little forward planning the run-commute can be seamlessly incorporated into your life. The trick is to start small and build up slowly. Before you know it, it will be an invigorating part of your daily routine.
5 tips for the run-commute
1. Check out the facilities at work
Yep, one big thing to consider is the sweat-factor when you arrive. If you haven’t needed to shower on the job before, you probably haven’t looked around for one – but many workplaces will have at least one shower you can use. If not, try running home from work instead. Local gyms or nearby community facilities may also have showers you could use, so take a look around for convenient options.
2. Just run part of the way
Of course, not everyone lives close enough to work to make running the whole way a realistic option. If the distance is too far, think about parking the car or hopping off public transport early and jogging the rest of the way. You could do the same for the trip home.
3. Take it slow
Don’t start out trying to run back and forth every day. Running to work just once a week is a fantastic achievement to start with. Introduce the change slowly and after getting used to the invigorated start to the day, then you might think about increasing the load. If running home works better, use the time to reflect on your day and walk in the door with a clear head and relaxed mind.
4. Make a plan
You do need to be somewhat organised to make the run-commute work. Clothes, food, shower and time are all factors that you need to consider. Plan out the week – for example, you could carry items in to work on a Monday morning, and run home that night. Then you could run into work the following morning, and carry everything home Tuesday evening. Wear quality, breathable gear, have a wet weather plan, don’t stuff your suit in a backpack and ensure you have enough food for the additional exercise you are doing.
5. Be kind to yourself
Don’t be too hard on yourself if it takes a while to make it a regular part of your routine. You might try it once, then not for weeks – that's okay! Start out on days when the weather is good, when you haven’t had a really late night and when you don’t have an early morning meeting.
6. Make sure to stretch
Don’t forget to allow enough time for stretching after your run to prevent injuries and soreness.
Your run-commute survival kit
Here are a few products that will make your run much more pleasant:
• Backpack. Look for an agile, lightweight backpack that will form to your back and move with you. Salomon has a great range of options that include hydro packs and roomier sizes. salomon.com
• Cooling towel. A great idea for running in the warmer months. Cooling properties are activated from sweat and water. Mission Althletecare Enduracool Towel is a good option available at Rebel Sports. rebelsport.com.au
• Practical additions. Keep a plastic bag in your backpack for rainy mornings, grab some extra food like bananas, trail mix or nut bars to have on hand and ensure you have warm extras like gloves/beanie to make chilly mornings easier to face.