There’s very little positive to say against the underground network. FACT!  For anyone who’s spent any length of time dealing with the crowds.  Trains are overly busy, uncomfortable, hot, noisy, smelly and damn right unpleasant!

And not only that, but in their wisdom the authorities are jacking the prices up at considerable rates above inflation.

As of the beginning of 2012, the average fare rose by almost 6% with the price of a single ticket within Zone 1, the most travelled route, being increased by a staggering 8%

Running to work takes you away from all this hassle. The feeling of arriving showered, refreshed, and ready for the day ahead are unbeatable after a good run in. This is the polar opposite of arriving hassled and hurried from the cramped underground!

If you’re eating your breakfast, lunch, or dinner whilst reading this next bit then I’d suggest stopping for a second and taking a deep breath.   The Department of Forensics at University College London undertook a survey to understand the level of contamination on the London Underground.

The results were staggering and can be found here.  So, rats, fungus, hair, germs, all manners of bodily fluids.  And we pay a nonsene fair, increasing well above inflation, with our nose often stuck in someone elses armpit for the benefit of all these ‘hidden extras’?

It’s not the whole of Europe who has to suffer with the less than ideal conditions and prices that the London commuter has to face.  Research has shown that the London commuter may pay up to 10 times the average fare of their European counterpart.

Running to work is free in both the UK and the rest of continental Europe!  Running to work leaves you free of all the costs and grime that are associated with the average train journey into and out of the west end of London.

For those of you who come into Paddington from the Reading area, it’s worth noting that your train line is considered amongst the worst in the UK.  Not only is the average fare rocketing above an inflationary rate, but statistics show that there is an average of over 300 passengers.

Studies from a 2010 survey showed that 9 out of the top 10 worst trains travelled through Reading on the way to Paddington.

Another sad fact is that is can be cheaper to live in London than to live in more leafy, attractive, rural areas and pay for the huge fares to catch the train in.   So the rural ideal might not just be that.  And if that does leave you having to move back into the capital or other major city, then running to work can be a real lifeline.

And it’s not just in London that rail commuting can be a real drain on resources.  In Birmingham, the average manual worker who commutes for 50 minutes per day can look forward to spending over 20% of their annual income on train fares.  The level for London commuters is at 17% before taking into account tube and bus fares.

Of course, getting into London or your major city might not be possible by running into work if you need to live that far from your work station that a commute by anything less than public transport or the train is not a possibility.

However, the option is open to get off the train at an earlier station and avoid the tube or bus.  Get off one stop earlier from your leafy commute and run to work.  Or get to your main-line station and run to work from there.   More and more people are getting on to their train in their running kit and avoiding the underground train from their final stop.  Running to work.

UPDATE:  9 March 2012:

New ideas to hit further the commuter have been introduced.  ‘Super-peak’ rates are being mooted with hours starting at 3pm rather than 5pm.

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