If you’re lucky enough to live within ‘running’ distance of your place of work, then run-commuting has to be one of the easiest ways to get your weekly mileage in. Here’s our Mud and Routes guide to getting the most from your run commute.
1 – Know your Route. You’ll need to have both a decent knowledge of your possible routes and to think out of the box. Don’t think of it as home to work to home – you may well be able to make use of public Transport, or colleagues, in order to commute part of the distance and run the rest. That’s essential if you simply live too far to run, need to avoid a section that’s simply dangerous to run or even in order to get a longer run in by catching a bus or train further from home! That could also mean getting to do some totally different runs from a different direction. That would be something like running from Rhyd Ddu down Dyffryn Nantlle for me, absolute bonus!
2 – Get some Muc Off – or ensure you’ve an alternative way to keep clean. It’s a bonus if you’ve got showers at your workplace. Even better is to confine your run-commute to the return leg. Hopefully your shower there’s a bit more welcoming than the communal one at work.
3 –Decent Pack – You will need to carry stuff back and forth, probably! Though any clothing you pack will unlikely be in any state for re-use in a formal workplace. With a lot of care, you may well be able to pack work trousers for re-use, but anything else is a write off, and a suit impossible! The OMM packs are designed for runners.
4 – Keep kit at work – If you can store some shirts and spares at work, that’s a bonus. If you’re organised enough then you could probably run home one evening by leaving your work gear behind. You could simply run into work the next morning without carrying anything more than your keys and wallet and forget about that pack entirely! Shoes are heavier than they look, so don’t lug these unless you really have no alternative.
5 – Wear a packable jacket – Something like a tidy down jacket will pack down easily for carrying home in a pack as your typical running jacket may not be suitable for work. If it is, then that’s just an added bonus as you can use the same jacket during your run and the rest of the day.
6 – Get a good head-torch and plenty of rechargeable batteries. If the head torch itself is rechargeable, ensure you can charge it at work either by USB or buying a second charger. Read our guide on choosing a head torch for more info.
7 – Know your Kit – Make sure you’ve only got the kit you absolutely need for the run, and only take ‘just in case’ items if you really have to. Try and carry the kit that’ll provide the most flexibility when conditions are uncertain. I’ll take a waterproof jacket with pit zips and a really thin baselayer if it looks like turning foul, which seems to cope with a wide range of conditions.
8 – Maximise your energy. Eat a mid-afternoon snack, keep hydrated, and try not to stay sat down for hours on end. My legs are usually like lead If I’ve had to sit down for most of the afternoon and it’ll be a crappy run more often than not, for the first six k at the very least!
9 – Stay visible! Get some hi-viz clothing and flashing lights. Most people are taking down the Christmas decorations by now, but it’s no shame to go out lit up like a Christmas tree.
10 – Don’t overdo it! Don’t run further than you’d normally run and up the distance sensibly. Unless you’re a couch potato at the weekend, you’ll need at least one rest day. I get my enjoyable runs in during the weekend in the darker months, and like to walk at weekends so there’s no way I’m able to run the whole week without a couple of rest days. If you’re carrying a pack, you may also need to run a shorter distance first time until you get used to it.
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