Run Commuting for Beginners

Someone searched this term and found my blog, so I thought I’d write a blog about a search term.  (This would therefore mean my next ones should be about Viagra and porn, though I shall sadly disappoint you.)

I run commute to work 2 days a week, at a distance of a 5K each direction.  I can do this because:

  1. Oxford, save for buses, white delivery vans, tourists and High Street, is a pedestrian-friendly city.
  2. England doesn’t have horrific cold or heat spells, though it can reach one or both in a day + ice.  I consider this part of the challenge.
  3. My work has a shower that is actually clean.

For anyone wishing to run commute to work, it takes a bit of planning and possibly a bit of investment.  However, as this completely removes any need to further schedule time for exercise as you are incorporating it into your daily routine, you’ll find it very rewarding.

So:

  1. Work out a run-friendly route.  This would include anything with sidewalks or pedestrian paths.  Don’t be foolish and think running in the road is a great way to start your day.  Many, many car people are very blerry and just waking up as they motor to work.  I’d rather you not become a human-sized bug splatter.
  2. Buy dayglo.  Please say farewell to black, if only using it for a fashion statement.  Again, blerry people, waking up or hurrying home.  Human-sized bug splatter.  Moving on.
  3. Invest in a good backpack.  If you carry mucho electronics (aka laptop) spend the money for something secure and well-padded.  There are, at last count, 1.3 billion types of running packs.  Some are mesh, some are waterproof, some can run along side and tell you your pace.  This was the hardest thing that I had to look for and I’m still not happy, though it is a good thing because:
  4. You need to purchase a shower kit and work out a system of clothing.  This is vital, as yesterday I failed to work out my clothing system and got to show very nice possible business partners our fancy conference room whilst dressed in a zip-up hoody.  Make a space in a drawer and either fill it up once a week or rotate through.  You may want to initially bring in things that go with most of your clothes (scarf, jacket, rain kit) as when running you probably want to be as light as possible.
  5. While you are at it stock your drawer with granola or trail mix for when you get in.  That way you don’t have all the glory high of running followed by all the moody crash that can sometimes follow it.
  6. Make a back-up plan.  Things like carrying change to get a bus or taxi fare in case you get to work and find out a project deadline has been moved up or as the day goes on you start feeling ill.  It’s a nice to have.

Finally, and you may hate me for this – you should consider avoiding headphones.  It annoys the crap out of me when people do this outside of a park and it annoys me even further when cyclists do this.  As you will most likely be cutting through a real city with real people and real painful vehicles zooming around you need to stay alert.  Leave the music as a reward for your nice park runs on the weekend.

Oh, and have fun.  Seriously, commute running is nothing like training in my opinion, it’s just good for fitness.  If you make it painful it will become painful, so don’t kick yourself on being off on pace.

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