Team GB triathlete Gordon Benson gives his top run commute advice.
There are many strong arguments for running to work. It saves you money, lets you avoid the brutal crush of public transport or the teeth-grinding frustration of traffic jams, and clears space in your free time to enjoy hobbies other than exercise.
If you opt for a morning run commute, you’ll arrive at work smug in the knowledge that you've done all the exercise you need to do for the day already. If you decide to run home instead, you’ll clear the day’s stresses from your system so you can enjoy your evening.
Our top tip for new run commuters is to pick up Red Bull Million Mile Commute event.
Plan Several Different Routes
Running to work opens up a world of tiny side streets, towpaths and parks. With a bit of research you can create a few different routes to choose between depending on how you’re feeling.
“You’ll have your standard ‘get to work as fast as you can’ route,” says Benson. “That’s for when you want to be active but you’re not feeling particularly energetic.
“Then if you’re half an hour early, you want to log some extra miles or you’re just feeling good, find a park and add a loop in on the way to work.”
If You’re Going To Run Your Commute Once A Day, Run In The Morning
There are three options for run commuting: mornings, evenings or both. There are no bad choices here, but running in the morning sets you up for the day.
“When I went to uni I always trained in the morning,” says Benson. “Then you don’t feel twitchy sat at your desk – you’ve already done something. You can focus on your work.”
Head Off-Road When Possible
Avoiding main roads not only makes for a quieter, more pleasant run, but also reduces the strain on your legs.
“I tend to do the majority of my running off-road,” says Benson.
“Look for cut-throughs or parks you can run through. It’s a lot nicer to run there than on busy pavements and it takes some of the load off your shins.”
Save Your Breakfast For After Your Run
While you might fancy a quick snack before setting off on your run commute, wait until afterwards for your breakfast.
“You can have two slices of toast beforehand maybe, and a quick coffee, but I like to have a proper breakfast post-exercise. That’s what I’d suggest for commuting,” says Benson.
Take A Golf Ball To Work
Don’t worry, we’re going somewhere with this.
“Get something like a golf ball and have that under your desk to roll the arch of your foot, says Benson.
“It’s like active stretching while you’re working, to help loosen up the muscles. And it’s quite therapeutic.”
Written by Nick Harris-Fry for Coach.