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How to run to work: the 5 big questions answered

As part of #BeatTheRush challenge week, we deep dive in to the main reasons people shy away from running to (and from) work, and solve five of the biggest “problems” holding runner back.

In some of the world’s biggest cities, peak hour traffic can double and even triple an “average” commute time. That time can be better spent, using it to get in your daily fitness needs by running through rush hour instead of sitting in it. Of course, finding the perfect way to run to work for different people requires trial and error to get it exactly right. So to help you get started faster, we have come up with a handy cheat sheet answering five of the biggest hindrances people have holding them back from running to work.


This article is part of the On + Strava #BeatTheRush global challenge week. To learn more about the challenge, and to take part, head here.

1. Clothes


By far one of the biggest pains for the “want-to-run-to work” runner. Universally, there are two solutions that are both easier to do than you might think.


The first is the runner’s backpack. By design, these specially made packs hug the body closely to reduce bounce and banging while remaining light. The most important factors to look for are comfortable shoulder straps and the bag’s shape when both full and near empty. They also tend to come with detailed instructions when you buy them as to how to keep clothes from wrinkling inside – generally, rolling clothes into cylinders works best for keeping them crinkle-free.


The second option is to plan ahead. Pack a bag on Monday with all of your clothes for the rest of the week inside, then simply run to and from work wearing your running attire and your clean work clothes will be waiting for you when you arrive each day.


2. Distance


Live too far from work to run? Then public transport or a lift from a friend (or rideshare service) closer to your destination is the best way to do it. Ride along and when you reach a comfortable distance from work, get out and run in the rest of the way. If your total run time is over 21minutes then you have reached your recommended daily movement goal (according to the World Health Organization) so aim to run in at least that far per day.  


3. Food


Often people see the biggest hurdle stopping them from running to work is how to pack a lunch when you run in. This can take some practice to get right, as typical lunch-box containers tend to be uncomfortable or unpractical – even in specially designed running backpacks. The answer lies in softer lunch bags over plastic boxes and packing them so there is no free space for food to bounce around inside their containers. Loose, they follow their own gravity inside of the backpack. Packed tight in the right kind of bag, they remain protected and bounce-free for your run. You can also order food delivered to work with more and more catering and lunchtime office options becoming mainstream. Or, along with your clothes left in the office on a Monday, pre-pack meals that will last the work week and take them with you during your non-run commutes.


4.    Weather


Contrary to what you may think, bad weather actually makes for a better run commute. Unless you have an underground carpark or train station inside your work building, there is always an element of outside walking needed to get to work. This often means wet shoes or socks for the rest of the work day. Running to work, on the other hand, with the right weather-proof gear and bag will still get you wet. However, as you’ve planned ahead, a fresh outfit for the day is waiting for you to change in to already after your shower at work.


5.    No shower


If there are no showers at work then the run commute can become a bit more of a challenge – especially in summer. To deal with a no-shower-situation, local gyms or fitness centers are often strong advocates for healthy lifestyles, and may let you use their facilities for showering and changing. There are also many “shower-free” products easily available to help you feel fresh for the day. Body wipes, dry shampoos and deodorants can all be enough, depending on the person. And if having a shower is a must and none are available to use at work, simply change up your thinking and run home from work at the end of the day VS to work in the morning. Simple.

And one more thing


On top of those five main reasons, one more comes in to play when looking to run to work: motivation. With the health benefits of running as part of the commute far outweighing the effort and alternatives (sitting in rush hour traffic for instance), you may find you have even more free time with your daily fitness goals already ticked off. We recommend trying it for a week and seeing from there how different your work day can be. Tell your colleagues and workmates, have them get behind you, and before you know it the commute in may be one of your favorite things about your work day.


Need an extra push? Join the On Strava club here for more tips and motivation when it comes to the run.  

The Cloudrush
For training, competition or commute, the Cloudrush was made to crush in complete comfort.
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