I run commute usually once or twice a week. One of my best tips for those thinking about starting to run commute, is to build in extra time. If you usually run 9 min miles, assume you’ll run 10 min miles + some extra buffer to get ready, buy your coffee, and for you to get lost/train to be delayed or to take your post run selfie!
Full disclosure…you might think less of me after reading this. I am a bit gross…
OK this is the big one. I personally shower at the gym near to work (or sometimes in the Physio’s shower at work). And occasionally, I have to baby wipe shower…. There I said it. Sometimes I can’t/don’t fully shower after my run commute.
The easiest of the above is if you have a gym close to work that you can use for showering, then you don’t need towels, toiletries or hairdryers etc. Some workplaces have great showers, others are pretty gross. Some have none.
A crappy shower is better than none – my top tips for you here are to wash your hair at home the night before. Do not rely on the dribble to wash your hair, instead pack dry shampoo to give it some volume and cover the sweat. If you can, I’d recommend leaving your toiletries and a towel at work, if that’s not an option then miniatures and a travel towel are a good way of cutting down the bulk from your backpack.
For those without access to showers at work, ‘shower in a bottle’, whole body wipes (like the Nathan Power Shower wipes), deoderant and perfume can go a long way. This probably wouldn’t be an option in the summer when it’s really sweaty, but right now, I *think* it’s OK!
Finding logistics of run commuting in to work tough or not willing to skip the post-run shower? Why not run home instead? You don’t need toiletries, a towel, space in your backpack for all of your clothes. You can run back home, shower in the comfort of your own bathroom then fall on to your sofa!
I personally run commute on a Wednesday from work to the house I nanny at, then I stay in my sweaty clothes before going to the stretch class at Barrecore and showering there!
I can’t run the whole way of my commute. So I sometimes run the 2 miles to the station, hop on the train (with a coffee) then run the 4 miles on the other side. Other days, I just run the 4 miles once I get to London.
There’s no harm in driving/getting public transport part of the way if your commute would be too long otherwise. For me 3-6 miles is the perfect distance run commute, and I’ll do it as my easy runs.
Get a good backpack
Check our my run commuting backpack reviews post here. This seriously makes a huge difference to your comfort when run commuting – and in terms of logistics – how much you can fit into your bag!
I always pack the night before, ideally before that pre-bed exhaustion hits otherwise you can end up with some pretty dodgy work/running outfits. Also think about what you’re packing – boots, clothes that won’t travel well, or bulky jumpers aren’t ideal.
During the winter, fitting your coat into your bag can be an issue. I’m thinking of investing in one of the ultra light down jackets to squeeze into my bag now that the weather has turned. I’ve been surviving with just my rain jacket at the moment, but it’s just not cutting it.
If you’re not sure your rucksack is waterproof, might be worth popping your clothes into a plastic bag. Similarly, your lunchbox might want some extra protection if you’re running with that – you do not want to discover that you have salad dressing or hummus all over your clothes when you arrive at work.
A collapsable coffee cup is your friend, I use it daily!
Keep a spare pair of pants at work (obviously somewhere discrete). If you have somewhere to keep things, I’d actually keep a whole spare outfit, just incase.
Don’t forget your high vis and head torch if any of your commute will be in the dark.
If I had the space and a great shower, I would leave my clothes for the week at work on a Monday, and run to work 4 days a week – I could even do my tempo/threshold runs if I didn’t have to have a backpack stuffed with work clothes and a coffee cup!