14   282
9   321
30   333
20   262
1   164
5   200
7   176
4   143
2   128
9   156

The Pros and Cons of #RunCommute

The Pros and Cons of #RunCommute

With online communities such as #run2workday and #runcommute growing in popularity, the run to and/or from work is definitely starting to create a bit of a stir. I took to the streets in a run home from work a few weeks ago and, while I was running, came up with this list of reasons for and against the #runcommute argument.

Pros (a.k.a. “the good stuff”!)

Kills two birds with one stone

Sometimes by the time you’re home from work you either don’t have time for a decent run, or you just can’t be bothered after a stressful journey. Making a run part of your journey means you can get the miles in and get from a to b.

Makes you happier

Following on from the first point, according to Professor Paul Dolan (author of Happiness By Design), happiness is derived from a mixture of pleasure and purpose; having an a-to-b run makes your efforts more purposeful, which in turn contributes to your overall happiness.

Makes you a stronger runner

#runcommute comes with a necessary baggage, and I don’t mean the emotional kind. My backpack (including winter jacket, work clothes, tupperware from my day’s food, etc. weighed in at 5kg. Imagine running with a 5kg weight strapped to your back… yeah, it takes extra effort to shift. All that transfers into your leg power, meaning a harder run, which will only make you inevitably run faster when you’re un-loaded.

That smug feeling

When your workmates are all getting ready to drive home you’re off to get changed for your run. They look at you (if not like you’re crazy) like you’re a picture of health and fitness. Oh, and of course there’s the double whammy of being eco-friendly. Damn right, you’re keeping fit and saving the environment. Pat yourself on the back!

A change of scenery

Running is a great way to see more of a town or city. You can use the run commute as an excuse to try out different routes home that you might not usually take. Also, if you commute in London, or another big city, and usually take the underground, you’ll see more of the city sights, and get some well needed fresh air.

Clocking up more miles

If you run the traditional three days a week then adding a run in for part, or all, of your journey is a really easy way to add in a few extra miles without taking too much time out of your busy day. It’s perfect for working professionals.

Avoiding traffic

There’s no better feeling than running past a queue of stationary traffic. I don’t think I need to say more than that!

Cons (the “not-so-good stuff”)

All the stuff

Ok, so I know I had this kind of as a pro, but having a backpack full of stuff can make your run just feel difficult. I had to stop and walk for 100 metres or so twice during my run, which is just not like me ordinarily. Also, preparing your bag the night before can be a bit of a drag.

Day-time limitations

I usually drive to work, so during the day if I need to go somewhere by car I can, or sometimes I go straight from work to do sports massages. If I was run commuting I wouldn’t be able to do that, which means a lot more planning has to go into my week.

Rushing

Unless you live really close to work (or happen to want to run for miles and miles!) there’s inevitably going to be some form of public transport involved in your journey, and if you miss your train or bus the whole commute can turn into a stressy nightmare. It also means (for those running to work) you either have to allow for a slow-run day by leaving extra early, or pushing yourself to keep a pace when you’re tired just to get to work on time.

The weather

If you’re a fair-weather-runner like me (I’m one of those people who can only run in the rain if it starts raining when I’m already running!) then being committed to a run home can end up being a miserable experience. Even worse is if you ran to work in the rain and then had to change into soggy kit to run home again. Well, it’s either than or dry your socks on the work radiators. Ergh.

Laundry

Running those extra days doesn’t half add a tonne to your laundry basket. My fiancé already comments on how much of our laundry basket is made up of lycra and day-glo without me running to and from work as well! Unless you want to be constantly churning the workout washing perhaps #runcommute isn’t for you.

More showering

I quite like just having one shower a day, it’s easy. I train early in the mornings partly because once I’m washed and have done my hair and makeup I really don’t want to get sweaty again. So running home from work kind of goes against the grain for me, but I’ll swallow it up if it means getting all those pros!

Do you run to work? Have I missed anything? What do you love or hate about running to/from work?

If you fancy running to work why not join in #run2workday, the first Thursday of every month. The group who started the hashtag, @r2wgroup, also have en e-petition running (pun intended) where you can sign to help convince the government to introduce tax savings similar to that of the Cycle to Work scheme. Visit www.run2work.com for more information.

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Georgina Spenceley
Georgina Spenceley

16 Comments

  1. 11th March 2015 / 9:07 pm

    I live pretty close to my office (just 2 minutes by car) so I could easily run home from work and then drive back to my office to get all my stuff 🙂
    For longer commutes, I would think running with a backpack would be terribly uncomfortable. I do like the two birds one stone thought though!

    • Georgina
      Author
      11th March 2015 / 10:02 pm

      Do you run commute at all at the moment? My traps ached a bit after my run from the station (3 miles) so it would definitely take some getting used to!

      • 11th March 2015 / 10:19 pm

        I ride my bike when the weather is nice. I also have to be aware of my schedule. I attend a lot of meetings and need my car throughout the day.

        • Georgina
          Author
          11th March 2015 / 10:23 pm

          Ah, that makes it difficult doesn’t it! Comes under “day-time restrictions”! Cycling to work is great too, I can’t wait to dig my bike out when we eventually get showers 🙂

  2. 11th March 2015 / 9:09 pm

    The whole showering at work / extra clothes everywhere annoys me. Even though in theory I love the idea I just can’t make it work for me.

    • Georgina
      Author
      11th March 2015 / 10:05 pm

      Yeah, it doesn’t suit everyone – it’s a lot of faff sometimes! I only do it on the odd occasion but when I do I really feel good after.

  3. 11th March 2015 / 9:30 pm

    Great post! It is sometimes hard to come up with time to log in the miles we need. One thing I am actually going to try today is running home from work instead of to work. That way I can leave my work clothes for the day here and bring them home tomorrow, that way I do not have to deal with your “all the stuff” con. I do not know how people workout during the lunch hour. Seems like a precious waste of time which could be spend eating lunch to me.

    • Georgina
      Author
      11th March 2015 / 10:07 pm

      Thank you 🙂 that’s a good plan. I’m probably going to do that next time too, lighten the load. And I totally agree – anything that interferes with eating time is crazy to me!

    • 12th March 2015 / 12:23 am

      I also just run home from work twice a week. I will bring home my lunch, extra clothes, etc the following day. It really makes a HUGE difference. I feel super accomplished with my 5 mile run out of the way.

      • Georgina
        Author
        12th March 2015 / 6:32 am

        I bet, that’s a nice distance to rack up over the week without too much extra time out of your schedule! Well done 🙂

  4. 12th March 2015 / 12:00 am

    Same, I only run in the rain if raining when already running 🙂

    • Georgina
      Author
      12th March 2015 / 6:31 am

      Yay, I’m not alone! 😉

  5. 12th March 2015 / 6:48 am

    I’ve tried running to work myself a few times when training for a half marathon. I agree getting all your stuff ready can be a right pain! The satisfaction of getting some cardio in before you start the day just about outweighs it though!

    • Georgina
      Author
      12th March 2015 / 8:39 am

      It’s always a bit of a toss up between that feel good factor and the hassle of doing it isn’t it. I wish there was a way of reminding yourself how good you feel afterwards when you’re struggling with motivation!

  6. 12th March 2015 / 9:40 am

    I’ve run home from work quite often as then I don’t need to worry about rushing to get anywhere on time! And I can leave all my stuff at work to bring home the next day and run without a bag, which is much nicer. The full distance is about 10miles though so I normally break it up with public transport unless I’m training for something! I’m hoping to start cycling now the evenings are getting lighter – I’m not a fan of cycling in the dark!

    • Georgina
      Author
      12th March 2015 / 12:49 pm

      Good work Beki! I’m definitely going to consider just leaving my stuff at work so I can run lighter next time 🙂 My journey is about 11miles in total so I get the train part way! Do you work in London? You’re brave cycling there at all!

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