Run Commuting

The past two weeks have been a microcosm of the past 5 years of my life – too much to […]

By on October 18, 2007 | Comments

The past two weeks have been a microcosm of the past 5 years of my life – too much to do and too little time to do it all. During the last half decade I’ve done a pretty god job of trimming wasted time out of my life, so it’s hard to come by further gains as there is little left in my life that I’m willing to give up at this point. Well, two Sunday’s ago I came up an unexpected time saver – the run commute.

I’ve surely had the idea before, but I’d always dismissed it for one reason or another. The logistics are too hard. I didn’t want to shower at work. I hate morning runs. Did I mention the logistics problems? In the end it took the prospect of further drastic cuts in my time commitments to take the plunge… and you know what? It’s not so bad.

For the past seven days I’ve either run to or from work and I plan to continue this, when possible, for the foreseeable future. My run home is about 6.5 miles and it’s easy to tack on flat miles around the Mall (which is beautiful around sunrise and at night) or throw in some extra miles in the neighborhoods of North Arlington when I get closer to home. Eventually, I would love to run both ways Tuesday-Thursday with Monday mornings and Friday evenings being dedicated to taking cloths to and from work.

The primary benefit of the run commute is that my commuting time essentially disappears. No longer am I sitting in a car or riding the metro. Instead, I am running, which I would otherwise do another time of day. In turn, I’m freeing up the time when I’d normally be running! A second benefit that I don’t want to overlook is that I get to work earlier when I run to the office. To shower at work, I have to walk into my office and then use a shower in the office suite. As a matter of professionalism, it’s best that I’m not walking into the office suite in running shorts at 9 a.m. when the first thing I walk past is a conference room where clients could be meeting. I’d also prefer not to be occupying the bathroom by showering once the business day starts. I actually like getting into the office early, but it’s very hard for me to get out of bed and metro in – much easier if all my suits are in the office and I must run in.

In starting my run commuting, I came across scant information on the topic. It would appear as though no one does it and I know that’s just not true. I’d like to compile some tips and tricks in a later post. If you run commute or have run commute in the past:

  • What got you started?
  • What your routine was – How often? How did you work the logistics?
  • Any gear that helped? (Please let me know if you have a way to run with pressed shirts!)
  • What were the benefits? Drawbacks?
  • If you stopped run commuting, why?

Please leave a comment and share your run commute experiences with the rest of us.

Bryon Powell

Bryon Powell is the Founding Editor of iRunFar. He’s been writing about trail running, ultrarunning, and running gear for more than 15 years. Aside from iRunFar, he’s authored the books Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, been a contributing editor at Trail Runner magazine, written for publications including Outside, Sierra, and Running Times, and coached ultrarunners of all abilities. Based in Silverton, Colorado, Bryon is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner who competes in events from the Hardrock 100 Mile just out his front door to races long and short around the world, that is, when he’s not fly fishing or tending to his garden.