If you ask our Marketing Boss, Sasha, she’ll tell you that nothing beats running to work. The benefits are numerous; It’s a great way to keep fit, it reduces your carbon footprint, you get to save a few quid on transport and not have to worry about missing your bus or getting stuck in traffic. Plus, no being packed like sardine with your face in someone’s armpit.
Once you reach the office, you’ll be awake and ready to take on whatever the day throws at you. And if you choose to run home, it’s a chance to declutter your mind and let go of the day’s stresses so you reach home relaxed.
Where to start? The idea of running to or from work can be intimidating. But it’s not impossible. Here are our top hacks on how to start running to work (and actually enjoy it).
1) Plan ahead
Before your first run to work, make sure you actually know where you’re going. The last thing you want is getting lost on your way. Use Google Maps or MapMyRun to find the best routes. You can always create a few different options to choose from depending on how you (or your legs) are feeling that day.
Make sure they’re well-lit and head off-road when possible to avoid busy traffic/pavements. We recommend you find a weekend to run the routes first so you can get to know it and how long it will take you. Make a note of the nearest bus stops and train stations along your routes in case of emergency (or really sleepy legs)
2) Preparation is key
As most people can attest, the most difficult part about any kind of exercise isn’t doing it but actually getting started. Get around this by prepping for your run-commute the night before. We’re not saying sleep in your running gear (unless you really want to) but pack your running bag and lay out your gear the night before. Top tip - tell a colleague you're running in tomorrow. The guilt of not doing it will get you straight out of bed and into your trainers.
3) Patience is a virtue
Unless you live less than 30 minutes away from your office or you’re a seasoned runner, running to work might be a tad difficult. Instead, try building up to it. You could go about your regular commute to work then get off a few stops early and run the rest. Once you’re confident of the route and have built up your fitness, you can slowly get off one stop earlier each time.
4) Invest in the right gear
There’s nothing more irritating on a run than shoes that don’t fit or a rucksack that’s bouncing around as you jog. Not only is it uncomfortable, it's not good for the body. If you’re committed to running to work, you might consider investing in a pair of decent running shoes and a bag that’s designed for runners. Our favourite commuter rucksacks are The Salomon Trailblazer 20 and the Osprey Syncro 30.
If you live in the UK like us, rain & cold in the winter is sadly inevitable. Consider investing in a waterproof jacket and bag cover to prevent your stuff from getting soaked. And depending on the season, it might be worth getting a reflective vest or headlamp to stay visible in the dark.
5) Pack light
This next one is obvious. If you’re planning to run to work, the last thing you need is hauling around your laptop/charger/clean clothes/work shoes/toiletries/water bottle/lunch/headphones/dog/cat on your back. Avoid this by figuring out what you really need to bring home with you after work and what you can just leave in the office (your toiletries). You want to run with only your essentials.
6) The right playlist
The right music can have a powerful effect and really motivate you. Research suggests that listening to positive music with more than 120 BPM (beats per minute) elevates your mood and helps you have a better workout. Make sure you keep the volume low and stay aware of your surroundings.
Can the right playlist be no playlist? Of course. Our Sasha actually recommends not running to music at all. For her it's time to clear the mind, hear nobody else's voices, thoughts, podcasts or opinions. Just some good old fashioned alone time.
It’s easy to be discouraged, but just start at whatever pace is most comfortable for you. Don’t force yourself and always put safety first. We promise it isn’t as complicated as it seems.
Do you run to work? If so, share with us in the comments below your best tips.