I’ve been running to or from work for years now, it’s a simple idea – you leave the house, run, get to work. Alternatively you leave the office, run, get home. The benfits of this are obvious; you get fit, you make use of the time you’re normally spending in transport so time costs are minimal and you save money on petrol or travel tickets. You also tend to feel great when you get into the office, fully awake and ready to go.
Over the years I’ve been asked a number of times “how do you run to work?”. I’ve often palmed these questions off with a look of confusion, but actually, there’s an art to this, I thought I would write a few tips that I’ve learnt over the years.
The biggest thing is taking the plunge and deciding you’re going to do it. At this point you need to get a map up if you don’t know the route and measure it out. Hopefully it’s simple enough that you can memorise the journy and run it without having to refer to a map, if not, consider trying to cycle or drive it on a weekend. Once you know your route and how long it is, you should be able to work out how long that should take you to run. I like to slow down for the last 5km of my run to work so that I don’t arrive in a complete state, so factor that in if you need to.
Check that you know where the showers are in the office so that you can get straight to them without having to ask people whilst dripping with sweat, hopefully you know where your shower is if you’re running home.
Pick a day to do it – I’d suggest picking a single day each week to start with, you’re more likely to stick with it long term if it isn’t every day.
The day before
Take trainers into the office. If you have storage at work then also take a towel, washing things, deodorant, hair gel and work clothes in the day before. Don’t forget cufflinks…the number of times I’ve had to put paperclips on my shirts…then at the end of the day, leave your shoes and change into the trainers to go home.
My suggestion is to get up, get straight into running clothes, don’t eat breakfast and just have a glass of water instead. Brush your teeth (hey – it’s important), take what you need in a bag and go.
If you haven’t left things at work then roll your work trousers, carefully fold your shirt and put it into a plastic bag and pack those in a backpack with the other items listed above. Ensure the shirt is flat to your back so that it doesn’t crease too much. When you arrive at work hang it up near your shower if possible.
Arrive in the office nice and early, grab your clothes, shower and dress. If you can, you should lay your running clothes out somewhere (we have hangers for wet clothes) otherwise they will absolutely stink by the time you go home.
Get breakfast and ensure you have enough water throughout the morning.
Timing the run
If you’re training for an event currently, you might want to time the runs in and ensure that you’re improving. Due to crossing roads and dealing with moving around people who are walking, it’s hard to do this. You can try to stop your watch every time you stop to get an idea of ‘time spent running’, or you can just take the total time and give yourself an idea of your speed. Both ways have benefits and problems.
If you’re in London, you should check out http://www.homerunlondon.com/ to see if they offer guided runs home after work in your area.