Four wheels to two feet: how to become a run commuter

If your morning commute seems to involve a lot of stop-and-go on the highway, or maybe a bus that never seems to show up on time, you’ve probably wished for an escape. Why not take charge of your commute with your own two feet!

We know joining the ranks of the run commuters can seem daunting to some, and makes for a tricky  adjustment, but the benefits outweigh the hurdles. Here are some tips and insights that can help you incorporate run commuting into your daily life.

The benefits

Run commuting involves some advanced planning, some clever packing, and a good backpack, but once you get started, there are a whole bunch of benefits.

For one thing, starting your work day with some exercise (and the endorphins that come along with it) is a way to supercharge your morning routine.

And if you’re someone who struggles to make time for running, building running into your daily commute can be an easy way to get the kilometres in.

Finally, there’s the bigger picture: switching to run commuting is better for your wallet and the health of the planet as you fuel up less, and save on public transportation costs.

Crushing the common excuses

It sounds all nice and efficient, doesn’t it? But you’re probably thinking:

  • I don’t have a shower at work and I’m going to smell!
  • I live too far from work!

Some valid concerns, so let’s crack them.

If you’re not one of the lucky people who has a shower at the office, you can handle the sweat problem by taking some time to cool down after your run. Let your workout clothes soak up the sweat before you get changed into your work clothes. Afterwards, use some baby wipes and deodorant to get rid of any remaining smelliness.

Only you know what your level of running and dedication can handle, so if you live far away from your office, consider taking the bus to work and running home instead of doing both ways.

How to get started

Like any good workout, running to work takes preparation. Here are some key things to consider as you begin the transition.

Find your backpack – Having a backpack that doesn’t bounce around is critical. Running backpacks are made to stay in place while you wear it. Take a trip down to the Running Room to find one that fits!

Bring your supplies to work – Carrying work clothes and all your other stuff in your backpack can be a drag. That’s why you should bring as much as you can with you in advance. Things like the previously mentioned deodorant and baby wipes can be stashed in your desk, and keeping one or two nice pairs of shoes at the office can save you trouble.

Carry bus tickets or some cash for a taxi – When the weather turns ugly or injury strikes, it’s helpful to have a plan B.

Choose a route that you’ll actually enjoy running – Sometimes the shortest route isn’t always the best. See if you can find a route with minimal traffic lights so you don’t have to start and stop a lot. Pick up a trail map and see if there any hidden routes that could make it more scenic.

Start slow – Like we said, it can be helpful when you’re first starting out to just be a one-way run commuter. Running home from work can give you a taste of whether this is the kind of habit you’ll want to stick to.

Remember run commuting isn’t something you have to do everyday. Even just a couple times a week can make a big impact. Just like almost everything else when it comes to running, run commuting involves a lot of trial and error and finding out what works best for you.