Beginners running,Commuting

How to start run commuting - a beginner's guide

How to start run commuting - a beginner's guide

Have you ever thought of running as a mode of transport? It used to be. Whether it was to deliver a message or just to get somewhere, humans used to run because it was faster than walking. Now we drive to the gym to run on a treadmill. But what if we got back to the way things were? What if running became a much more common way to get around again? What if run commuting became the norm? 


What is run commuting?


Quite simply, run commuting is running to work. And then back home at the end of the day. It’s a wonderful way to combine a daily workout with getting to and from your place of work. Whether you’re heading to a rural spot or avoiding the crammed public transport of a city centre, run commuting has lots of benefits. 


The most significant are to your health and fitness. When you run to and from work, you guarantee yourself two workouts a day. Run commuting is one of the best ways to introduce healthy habits into your daily routine. It’s also great for the environment, will save you money and can give your mental health and productivity a boost too. 


How to start run commuting - our top tips


Keen to give it a go but after some advice on how to start run commuting? Check out our top tips for running to work. 


Make it a workout


The key to kick-starting any successful running routine lies in your mindset. Think of running to work as your daily workout rather than your commute. Viewing your runs as exercise will help you be more committed and enthusiastic than if you see it as just your journey to work. 


Plan your route


Your running route to work is going to be different than if you were driving or catching public transport. It’s also going to be busy if you’re heading into a city. Use a mapping app on your phone to plan a route that avoids the busiest roads where possible, and maybe create a few different routes that you can switch between depending on how you feel and how much time you’ve got. 


Allow more time


It’s always nice to have a bit of extra time in the bag so you’re not rushing when it comes to things like exercising and starting your working day. Even more so when you combine the two. Leave plenty of time for stops and getting caught at traffic lights, and allow yourself a period where you build up your pace getting to work. It’ll probably take longer to get there at first, but this will improve the more you do it. 


Use the right gear


If you’re run commuting in the UK, there’s a good chance you’ll have to run in traffic, in the dark or in poor weather. Or a combination of all three of those things. So to make your run to and from the office as enjoyable and comfortable as possible through changing conditions, it’s super important to have the right gear. A good running jacket will protect you from the elements, for example, along with a warm pair of running gloves during the cooler months. 


Whether you’re just running in a t-shirt or layering up with a gilet, make sure your gear’s made from reflective material. No matter if you’re running through a city or along quiet country roads, this will help to keep you safe when it’s dark. Likewise a head torch or chest light, which can help you avoid injury on uneven surfaces – as well as lighting up the way and making you more visible to other road users. 


Get a good backpack


As you may be carrying things like your work clothes, mobile phone, keys and maybe a laptop, a decent backpack for running could be a game-changer on your daily commute. Look for one that’s reflective and water-resistant, which has different compartments, side pockets and comfortable straps for the best fit. Chest and waist straps will stop your bag from flapping around as you run, while ventilated back support helps to keep you cool. 



Be prepared at work


If you don’t want to carry a change of clothes to work in your bag every day, you might prefer to keep some at the office. As well as that, it’s a good idea to keep some extra running gear there too. You’ll appreciate this if you get wet, muddy or particularly sweaty on the way to work, meaning you’ve got a fresh set of running clothes ready for the run home. 


End your run at a gym


If your work has showers available, then you can easily freshen up when you get there. If not, you could end your morning commute at a nearby gym and use the showers there instead. Better still if you plan to fit in a workout to make your morning routine even more action-packed and health-focused. 


Eat after your run


In the morning, it can be a good idea to have breakfast after your run. It’s usually a lot more enjoyable to run on an emptier stomach than a fuller one, so you don’t get a stitch. It’s also good to give your body some fuel after you exercise, to replace the calories you burn. This can also give you a little more time to relax and recover before you start your working day. 


Find your feet


There are three ways to run a commute. You can either run to work, run home from work, or both. If you can’t do both, you may want to get that early energy burst by running in the morning. If you’d rather get ready for your day at home, just run back instead. And if you feel like you can’t manage the whole run to start with, you could try a couple of stops on the bus or train before running the rest of the way. By building things up slowly, you’ll soon find your feet and get into a fitter and healthier routine. 



Run commuting - FAQs


How do I pack to run to work?


Packing for a run commute requires a little bit of thought and planning. Start with a lightweight, comfortable backpack designed for running. Pack it with essentials like your work clothes, some toiletries for freshening up after your run, and anything you need for work. Try to keep your bag as light as possible to avoid strain on your run. 


What is a reasonable commute to work in the UK?


A reasonable run commute depends on your fitness level and how much time you’ve got. In general, something like three to five miles is a good distance to aim for. This provides a good balance between getting a good workout and being overly tired when you arrive at work. 


Run commuting is a great way to turn something that can be pretty mundane, or even a chore you dislike, into a productive activity that boosts your health, fitness and overall well-being. By starting off with the right mindset, goals and equipment, you may quickly find that running to work becomes an incredibly rewarding part of your day. 


To find all the gear you need made with reflective materials to stay safe on the road, check out our range of running clothing and equipment

Article by Holly Townsend
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