A couple of weeks ago, I began thinking of new ways to incorporate exercise into my daily routine other than heading to the gym every evening. And no, I’m not talking about performing the bum-clenching manoeuvre religiously throughout the day, nor am I going to tell you to do 10 squats each time you pop to the loo. It’s much more simple than that – run. To some of you, running to work may seem like the most hideously awful way to start they day. Why would anyone want to enter the office sweaty, out of breath and with a skin tone resembling that of a tomato?! I’ll tell you why.
Why do I run to work?
My usual commute is via the glorious northern line from Clapham North to Bank, AKA “sweaty-pit galore”. Fellow commuters grabbing onto any stable item they can find(which, may I just add, has before included me), attempting to stop the human domino effect and causing the mother of all pileups… Oh, but of course there is always that one person who refuses to hang onto anything; legs spread, game-face on… just squashing the poor soul that happens to have wiggled into the space beside them… Why wouldn’t I want to run to work?
So why should you run to work?
Obviously, running gets you fitter. It raises your heart rate and increases your metabolism, helping you burn more calories throughout the day (I’ve got you already, haven’t I?). On average, running burns a third more calories than cycling and twice that of walking. Plus, there are no risks of you being squashed by a double-decker bus or entering into a roadside face-off with some angry white-van driver. Running to work rather than sitting on a stuffy underground train will also help you walk into the office with a clear and calm mind, leaving you ready to take on the day like a pro.
“But it’s too far for me to run to work”
No excuse, I’m afraid. It doesn’t matter if you are new to running or if you come from beyond The Wall, just break up your journey. Use the train, car or bus for a portion of your commute and then run a distance that suits you. I have been using this great website called www.walkit.com (also an app BTW), which can be used in towns and cities across the UK. After entering your start and end points, you are able to select an option from “direct”, “less busy” or “low pollution”, to find a running route that suits you. For me, pollution was a big concern, but Walkit showed me the glorious (only slightly extended) commute along the Thames, which is largely traffic free!
“But I don’t have the right gear”
Okay, so running gear can be expensive, but there are always cheaper alternatives. When I began looking for a rucksack, I was overwhelmed by the huge array on offer; big ones, small ones, some as big as ya head… (Lion King quote FYI). After reading multiple reviews, I decided on the OMM The Last Drop. At only £31.95 (www.wiggle.com), it is towards the lower end of the price range. Even so, the quality is amazing and I experience zero discomfort when I run. At just 10 litres, the bag is fairly small but ideal for squeezing in those essentials (see below for more details on what to carry).
Planning & Organisation
I’m not going to lie to you and say that run-commuting requires no organisation or planning whatsoever. As a meal-planning, Tupperware fanatic, carrying two meals, snacks, clothes and makeup into a 10 litre bag seemed impossible. Unless you want to look like you have just returned from 6 months travelling around South-East Asia with a bag big enough to fit two small children inside, it’s not going to happen. So…
1. Plan in advance which days you are going to run to work
2. The day before you run, make sure you take any prepped lunches/meals for the following day
3. Always leave a pair of shoes under you desk
4. Always keep a towel in your locker
5. Gals, pack non-creasing clothes. Guys, have a supply of shirts at work.
5. To be on the safe side, keep a few emergency clothing supplies at work at all times. I’m talking underwear (no one wants to re-wear sweaty underwear), tights and socks. Trust me, there will be days when you forget.
So what do I pack into my little OMM The Last Drop?
- Dress (requires less space than trousers/skirt and top)
- Underwear (you do NOT want to forget these, see above)
- Deodorant (If you pack one thing, pack this)
- Dry shampoo (AKA a god-send)
- Makeup/baby wipes
- Post-run snack (Pip & Nut Coconut Almond Butter of course)
- Cards, keys, money etc.
Head on over to www.run2work.com and www.walkit.com to plan your route, get advice and find fellow run commuters near you to buddy up with. Make your commute healthier, more enjoyable and more social than you could ever imagine! You can even sign a petition for tax-free running shoes and equipment!
So what are you waiting for? #run2work
OMM, The Last Drop: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/omm-the-last-drop/