Striding with Pride into the Office: The Art of the Run Commute

October 18, 2023

The Concept: The Joy of Run Commuting

So, what's the deal with run commuting? As I've come to discover, it's the art of using the exhilaration of a morning jog to eliminate the monotony of your daily commute. Imagine this: instead of enduring gridlocked traffic or cramming yourself into a crowded bus, you slip on your running shoes, sling a backpack over your shoulders, and hit the pavement like a highly caffeinated gazelle. Run commuting is the act of using your own two legs as the ultimate mode of transportation to get to your workplace. It's a daring endeavor that transforms the dreaded realm of traditional commuting into a display of athletic prowess and a satisfying sense of superiority in the workplace. So, lace up those shoes, grab your briefcase, and let's delve into the world of run commuting.

Overcoming Excuses: Taking the Leap into Run Commuting

About a decade ago, I recall reading about a prominent Irish distance athlete who ran 5 miles to and from work. I thought to myself, "Wow, now that's some serious training goal!" Over the years, it was something I would have loved to do, but I always lived too far from my workplace, or the route was too dangerous, not to mention the pollution (especially during my time in China). These were just a mountain of excuses that would eventually dry up!

The Ideal Circumstances: Making Run Commuting a Reality

However, after recently changing jobs, I ran out of excuses. Running to or from work wasn't initially at the top of my priority list, but I soon realized that the circumstances were ideal. I discovered that my workplace has shower facilities, it's only four miles away from my home, and the deciding factor was the absolute nightmare that is the bus journey. The bus to and from my workplace takes a grueling 45 minutes, stopping seemingly every hundred yards along the route. To make matters worse, there are screaming children, unruly teenagers, and the growing trend of those horrible inconsiderate people playing videos out loud. It made me dread the bus ride to work. In previous jobs, I had dismissed the idea of run commuting due to the inconvenience, but now I realized it was more inconvenient not to try it.

Preparation and Practice: Ready, Set, Run!

So how did I get started? First, I went searching for kit. I already had running gear like shorts, shoes, and a Garmin watch, so it was really a matter of buying a running backpack. There are tons of suitable backpacks like these on eBay for around the £30 mark, so that was my first investment. Second, I needed to find the shower facilities at my workplace and suss them out. Luckily for me, they're on the same floor as my office. Lastly, it was time for a dry run (see what I did there?). Yes, I ran to my workplace on a Saturday afternoon and took the bus home. Now I had a rough idea of how long it would take to run to/from work and factored in time to shower. I had a rough idea of what time I would have to leave my house each morning. I am also quite fortunate to have lockers in my workplace so I could stash some Imperial Leather for afterward, because post-run freshness is the key to success in the workplace.

The Inaugural Run Commute: From Excitement to Achievement

So then my first day came. Equipment? Check! Trial run? Check! Excuses? None. I checked the weather forecast on Sunday night, packed my work clothes into my bag, and laid out my running clothes for my first run commute the next day. Fast forward to 7 a.m. the next day, I had my usual strong coffee, got dressed for running, slung on my backpack, and headed out at 7:30 a.m. Thankfully, the GPS on my Garmin watch connected really quickly, and I headed off. I must say it was a great feeling, hitting the pavement and disregarding my usual boring commute. The traffic was light, and the temperature was mild. I even saw other people run commuting; well, they overtook me! With every bus stop I passed, I got a great sense of satisfaction. The last mile was quite tough as my workplace is on top of a hill with a nice little downhill stretch at the end.

Conclusion: The Rewards of Run Commuting?

So how was it? A great feeling, to be honest. To be at my desk for 8:30 a.m., showered and fresh, and having done my main exercise for the day already is a great feeling. I have kept it up reasonably well when the weather is mild, but I do fear I will falter as the weather gets colder after the end of October because no one wants to look like a frozen popsicle in the office. So, if you're thinking of joining the ranks of run commuters, make sure to invest in a good running jacket and prepare for all elements!

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