Hello Friends 🙂 Happy Hump day!
There is always something about Wednesdays isn’t it? Where you know the weekend is coming but it isn’t here yet so you feel like half celebrating… Confusing eh? Well Wednesdays are also notorious for making our fitness motivation dip. My solution to this “Wed-belly” in my motivation (as i like to call it) is to make sure I log in a few good tempo miles. How i do that? I commute home from work running!
This is a concept that became quite popular a few years ago when it seems to me that people decided to be more healthy and also there was an increase in environmental consciousness or just people got tired of traffic and packed public transportation… Which ever was it, runner commuters are everywhere nowadays, in every major city. People that either run to work in the morning (if they are lucky and their workplace has showers) or they run home from work at the end of the day (like me 🙂 ). I realize that as a first impression it sounds a little crazy, like “It’s -1C (30F) outside at 6 am how am i suppose to run 5 or so miles to work?” or maybe more like “I can’t imagine working a full 10-12 hour day and then run 5 or so miles back home”. I assure you these are very legitimate thoughts to have, and i had them too before i started, but bear with me here and I promise you reasoning will prevail!!
I am the “run home from work” kind of commuter runner. I go to the lab at about 7:45 am and usually leave between 5:15 to 5:45pm. That makes a full 10 hour work day, some times even longer. And let me tell you being a scientist it is -usually- not a desk job. There is a lot of standing, carrying, walking around involved and my “get home” route is about 7.5 to 8 miles.So how do I stick with my decision to run back and don’t cave in and hop on the subway at 5:15pm?
Well here are few things that help me and motivate me with this:
If i have this run planned and the milage calculated that makes it way hard to skip it since it is a substantial amount of miles to lose
Have a yummy snack and half cup of coffee about 45 minutes to an hour before your run. This will give you the energy you need!
Think of what you are gaining by running home – for me it is always the fact that i get to avoid the subway (or the “tube” as its called) which is overcrowded and so not pleasant.
Think of the reward, the feeling that you get after a nice run that literally didn’t take longer than your commute with public transport/car and you didn’t have to allocate an extra amount of time for it. Also think of how you ‘ll feel after you get home – this euphoric feeling after every run? Yeah that’s the one!! Save money/time and help the environment along side as well by decreasing your carbon dioxide footprint – Bonus 🙂
Now that all the reasons are laid out does this crazy idea sounds a little more sensible and reasonable? I knew it would! But before you guys go ahead and create your own commuter runner routine, here are some essentials to have that will make your commute easier and more enjoyable.
1. Reflective running bag-pack
Of course if you are at work you can just leave everything there and run home. There are a few essentials that you will need for the next day. For this a running bag-pack is an MUST! I have seen so many times people who run with huge, bulky bag-packs that bounce around with every step… It makes me wonder! This is a very important accessory for such runs. A good fitted running bag-pack. (Note: try not to take your laptop/tablet with you since it is not a very safe option. I always leave mine in my locker drawer at work.)
If your route is more than 6 miles make sure you have some extra fuel with you like gels or a small snack. I know that usually our bodies don’t need re-fuelling for runs shorter than 10 miles but remember you also had a full working day prior to this run.
3. Cash/credit card
Make sure yo always have some cash or a credit card with you along with your cell phone in case of emergency. You don’t want to find yourself stranded and not being able to get home.
4. Follow a public transport line
If possible follow a public transport line, like a subway or bus line. I always make sure i follow the subway line that gets me home in case i get too tired or there is an emergency and have to get home faster. It also makes it easier not to get lost since bus or subway stops are like mile markers.
5. Tell someone
Make sure that at least one person knows that you are returning home/going to work running. And they are also aware of the time you are suppose to arrive. Better safe than sorry!
I hope this will get some of my fellow runners to try running commute! So what do you think? Would you consider it? Are you a runner commuter? How far is your work place?