The story behind "Turnschuhpendler"
by Thomas Wimmer
At first I want to say that I really did my best to avoid mentioning too many advantages and tips in this blog post since you can read a lot of stuff about these things anyway. I recommend the Facebook group “Turnschuhpendler” for the German area and the website TheRunCommuter.com for English speaking runners if you feel the need for more information on this topic.
Who am I?
My name is Thomas Wimmer and I am the founder of one of the biggest run commuting communities in Germany called “Turnschuhpendler”. And I can tell you one thing for sure: as soon as you have discovered run commuting for you and figured out the logistics it can have a tremendous impact on your life. Run commuters like me do not run in circles in parks but rather combine our daily run with our way to work. All of a sudden, the daily way to work makes sense!
How it began
Why I start run commuting? Well, I used to take the city railway of Cologne for my way to work. The station here are closely together. Instead of waiting for the next train where I was I always decided to walk to the next station - or even the one after. Sometimes I walked up to four stations instead of standing and waiting at the station. But in the end, there was no saving of time. But still, moving myself seemed more reasonable to me than just standing there for minutes. Meanwhile I am covering the whole distance using my feet - or sometimes my bike. For over three years now I haven’t used the train for my way to work and I don’t even have an own car. The only thing I am really missing since I decided to become an active commuter is the time for reading good books on the train commute. But in the end, being on the move and fitting my daily exercise in my busy schedule is more important to me than books.
My thoughts while running
I am spending a lot of hours per week just running. Someone might ask, what am I thinking about the whole time? Well, that’s probably the favourite questions of non-runners. What are you thinking about while driving the car, your bike or going by train? Exactly. I enjoy looking at my surroundings. This is also important for safety reasons, especially in a big city. Through my daily run I am also getting to know the city and start understanding the weather and the seasons. Of course, I could listen to music to get some kind of distraction but I am avoiding this. I am rather allowing my mind to wander and think about this and that. I really enjoy seeing and hearing the city awaking - not even mentioning seeing squirrels climbing the trees or birds chirping. Rain on your skin, snow under your feet and a cool pinch in the face are the experiences that makes run commuting tolerable - and enjoyable.
And there it is - the emotional part of run commuting which I really wanted to avoid. Find out more about the advantages of run commuting on my Instagram.
Actually I have often thought about what I could write about run commuting. You just read some of my thoughts. Now I need to continue running to get new inspiration and ideas. Maybe I need to experience them again, consciously perceiving and feeling them again...you know ;)
Here you can find out more about my story (German only)
Find out more about Thomas in our Run Commuting Guide.