Run Commuting Wiki

What is run commuting?

  • Run commuting means that people avoid cars or public transport on their way to work. Instead they are commuting on foot and run to/from work

    What are the benefits of run commuting?

    • One of the biggest benefits of running to work is the time saving. Instead of unsuccessfully trying to squeeze in your daily workout before or after work you can just combine your training with your commute. Oh, and no traffic jams that are stealing your time! Furthermore, think of all the money you are saving when not paying for public transport or fuel anymore. Talking of this, by leaving the car at home just two days a week, you will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 721 kilograms per year. So while run commuting you are also saving our planet! Also think about your health and fitness - you will definitely feel better with more exercise which will have an impact on your work as well. Run commuters and those who exercise regularly are more proactive at work than those who don’t participate in any kind of physical activity. This is because of the increased mental and physical health which leads to more focus, concentration and energy throughout the day. By the way, run commuting is also a great way to earn your colleagues’ respect!

      Who can run commute?

      • Really everyone can become a run commuter. For experienced runners run it is the easiest ways to work on their mileage and their improvements throughout the week. But it is also a great way to start getting in shape. Just make sure you find the right running style for you and have some possibilities to switch to public transport in case you are are getting out of breath.

      Man running to work with a backpack

        How to start run commuting?

        • The most important thing is to prepare yourself. Think about a routine you would like to stick to. Decide on which days you want to run commute and if you gonna run to work or home or even both ways and inform your family about your plans. Make sure to put out your sportswear and other essentials the evening before your run commute. Think about what you need to pack in your running backpack and leave unnecessary things at home or the office. Always take your credit card, ticket and fully charged phone with you - just in case. Decide which route you are going to take and where you could switch to public transport. 

          What gear do I need for run commuting?

          • You need sportswear including shirts, shorts/tights and jacket. Just choose something you feel comfortable with that is appropriate for the weather. Go for light, breathable fabrics, designed to wick moisture away from the body as you work up a sweat. Of course, different sportswear for run commuting in winter versus summer is a must! If your run commute is along roads and pavements, it’s a good idea to invest in a pair of specialist running shoes with foot support. Wrong or bad shoes can lead to all types of injury, especially in winter - which could easily be avoided. Additionally, a high-quality running backpack as well as some accessories like water bottle, gloves, running belt or hats might be of great help.

          Man with running backpack standing in winter wonderland

            Is running with a backpack bad?

            • In general, running with a backpack is not bad at all. But it is highly important that you are using an ergonomic backpack with a padded back panel that supports your back. The right size as well as padded and adjustable straps are important and ensure a pleasing carrying experience. Adding some weight can lead to tremendous improvements in your training but make sure you don’t overpack!

              What do I need to consider when buying a running backpack?

              • To find the right running backpack for you, figure out how much you have to carry on an average day before you start. Of course, your backpack needs to be large enough to accommodate everything you need. 8 - 15 liter of volume are ideal. Furthermore, the running backpack should fit snugly around the shoulders and hips and your chest strap should prevent it from bouncing around as you run. Good running backpacks are equipped with a range of adjustable straps which make it easy to fit the bag as comfortably as possible to your body.

                What do I need to pack in my running backpack?

                • You basically need your daily essentials as well as your running gear. In our run commuting guide you can find a detailed checklist to tick off the things you already packed. 

                Business attire in shape in a garment bag

                  How to keep my business attire in shape?

                  • There are a few different ways to neatly pack your business attire. When you are using a running backpack it can be a good advice to roll your clothes. By doing so, the clothes are getting less wrinkled than if you fold them randomly. This way of folding also saves precious space in your bag. You can even put your rolled clothes in a vacuum bag and squeeze the air out to minimize the space the clothes take. In fact, it’s often the small garments, such as underwear and socks, that require the most space, so also think about how to pack these.

                  • For finer clothes it can be easier to pack the clothes in a hard-shell garment bag. Such shirt boxes fit a whole set of clothes. With the help of an included clothes folder you get smart tips on how to pack in the right way. You can either put the garment bag into your bag or attach it to the outside. No matter how you prefer carrying your shirt box, you can be absolutely sure that your outfit arrives wrinkle free.

                  • The optimal solution is a running backpack which combines a backpack and a garment bag. Some running backpacks for example have a hard-shell case with an extra compartment for your clothes. It fulfills the same purpose as a garment bag but comes with ergonomic straps and ensures a nice and 100% bounce-free running experience. Sometimes they even come with a clothes folder to help you folding your clothes in the best way possible.

                    Can I run with a laptop? 

                    • Run commuting with a laptop is not a problem at all. The most important thing is to choose a backpack that is waterproof. By doing so, you don’t need to waste any thought on the safety of your laptop. Furthermore, a laptop compartment provides a strong grip on the laptop when you feel the need for extra security. It is recommendable to have the laptop as close to your back as possible. Therefore, a laptop compartment in the back panel is ideal. 

                    • Get yourself a backpack with anti-bounce technology to avoid the irritating up and down movements. Adjustable waist and sternum straps and a tight fit are essential to avoid bouncing. But also think a little bit about your running technique. Avoid jumping up and down while running - not only for the sake of the laptop. By the way, switching off the laptop decreases the likelihood that it gonna break.  

                    Man with running backpack on stairs

                      How to work out the shower situation?

                      • When running to work, the possibility to have a quick shower is important. Most bigger companies have a changing area with a shower block or there might be a gym next to your office which you could use. If you cannot find a shower option near you, dry shampoo and wet wipes can help you out.

                        Can I also take food with me?

                        • Of course, meal prepping will ensure your are sticking to your healthy diet. Sandwiches, energy bars, apples, vegetable sticks and things like this are great to pack in your running backpack. Also leftovers from the evening before like noodles or rice dishes are no problem if you have a leakproof lunchbox. However, it is recommendable to avoid yoghurt, berries or dressings since this might lead to a mess. 

                          How to stay motivated?

                          • Despite run commuting being all-round awesome, we know that sometimes motivation can be lacking. But there are a few tips to stay motivated. First, keep it real. It’s important to remember that you are not just embarking on a new exercise routine, you are making a lifestyle change. Give yourself (and your body) time to adjust to run commuting and try to avoid putting too much pressure on yourself. Second, find a running partner. If you cannot encourage your friend, partner or work colleague to join you, consider signing up at your local running club – there is a good chance you will meet people running your way! Third, stay on top of your progress. After you have been running to work for a month or two, it can be easy to forget how far you’ve come. Keep a diary and when you are having “one of those days”, read your old entries and give yourself a pat on the back. Fourth, add variety to your route. This is not always easy, but if you are finding your route to work somewhat repetitive, why not check out other routes available and mix it up a bit. Fifth, check your bank account. If you run to work, even just 2 or 3 times a week, you will soon begin to reap the financial rewards. Keep an eye on your bank account and when your balance begins to rise, sit back, smile, and remember that it’s all down to your hard work! Sixth, listen to your favourite music or get lost in an interesting podcast.

                            Find more tips and tricks on run commuting in our Run Commuting Guide or on our webpage. If you still have questions or want to share your personal #1 tip with the run commuting community, please write an email to [email protected].