CONGRATULATIONS!! You’ve made a positive step into looking to change your routine and make a very healthy and intelligent choice to your daily commute!!
Running to Work is a great way to start your day. The benefits are enormous. So many of us lead such busy lives that weaving in exercise into your daily routine can be almost impossible. So by combining your morning commute with a daily run makes total sense. You’ll arrive at work feeling alert and awake, you’ll drop weight and save money in the process. You’ll be in charge of the time you arrive at work (forget train delays and traffic jams!) and you’ll be doing your bit for the environment, too.
First and foremost it is important to make the initial journeys hassle free as possible in order to encourage a rolling program of runs. If you are already a runner, you should know your limits and time-lines involved.
If you’re new to the sport of running it will be worth while developing some base fitness with a few runs over weekends or evenings to get comfortable with the running to work schedule.
It is necessary to plan ahead, as the logistics involved with the kit and hygiene will take some consideration. You will quickly get into a routine of how to organise your schedule with the following hint and tips:-
- You should try and leave as much at your workplace as you can for your running routine into work. This can include clothing and toiletries. Put them away in your personal draw or a shower room if you’re lucky enough to have one at work. The rest of your kit, and food, can be carried to work in a running backpack which also doubles up as a method to take home dirty kit, lunch equipment and Blackberry / Phone / iPad etc. The Giga Office is a very good option as it has compartments for keeping your laptop or iPad safe.
As a beginner you should look for at least 20 litres in size whereas someone with an established routine and storage space available at work can minimise further. By increasing size, the weight increases are generally not dramatic and will cope with the extra gear that might be required on occasions. Cotswold Outdoor offer a good range of running backpacks including the 12 litre OMM backpack which is a great choice if you don’t need to pack a full bag. Check them out: Cotswold Outdoor
If you work in a suit, then pack some lightweight casual clothes in your running backpack. That way you can leave work in these casual clothes and keep your suit at the office. This means you don’t need to transport your suit home and run in with it in the morning. Any suit carried in a backpack will look shabby!
- Try your first few runs on days where you wont be out the night before or plan for when the weather looks acceptable. The early stages of running to work can be hard going if hungover, tired or wet. And anything which makes it less than enjoyable may deter future outings
- If your work schedule is fluid and hours are unpredictable, then think about a mass drop of gear. Mondays can be a good day for this in advance of the week’s busy schedule. However, also bear in mind that Monday is a great day for running to work, being a perfect antidote to the Monday morning blues!
- If you need some extra motivation to get going, think about entering a race which will clearly help you focus. Look for a local 5 km or 10km race to kick start your running training. After running to work for a period you’ll be surprised at how the miles seem to travel quicker. A competitive race will have you developing upto a half and full marathon in no time!
- If you truly hate running in the morning or generally are not a morning person, then why not run home from work? Running back can be an excellent way to clear out the mind clutter from the day just gone and, besides, it’s the perfect excuse for a glass of wine or food treat when finished.
- When you wake in the morning and really can’t be bothered to put on the trainers, just think about the noisy, smelly, late, unhygenic, busy and unappealing public transport system! Having your face stuck in someone elses armpit on the tube. If you don’t live in London or travel into work generally by car, think about the cost of petrol today and effect on the environment.
- Join a gym! Ok, so this isn’t about running on the treadmill, but a gym near work will offer you the perfect place to shower, stretch out after the run, and perform your general morning ablutions. Certain gym chains are providing very cheap membership in these recessionary times. Alternatively, speak with your work place about providing a shower. They should be promoting healthy activities, especially if you can put forward the case of increased work productivity. Do remember to find a place at work to quietly stretch tight legs and muscles.
Many people are put off running to work due to the perceived logistics involved. However, after spending just a little time planning then it quickly and easily turns into a routine and you’ll be kicking yourself that you didn’t start earlier. If you’re a regular lunch time or evening exerciser, you’ll appreciate the extra time you’ll have freed up for yourself by getting the exercise out of the way first thing in the morning. Set aside a little time, think about the logistics and give it a go. You will NOT regret it!