Run commuting is an excellent way to build exercise into your daily schedule, save money on transport and de-stress on your way home from work. The benefits are fantastic, but running to work has natural limitations – how often you can run commute depends on the distance to your work place, your level of fitness, the amount of time it takes you to recover after a run, and your other exercise commitments. The key is to build yourself a reliable routine that will allow you to start running to work on a regular basis.
Picking a Schedule
The first few times that you run to work, you’ll find it a big change. Depending on the preparation you had to do (bringing kit to work in advance, etc.) you will already have formed a rough schedule: bring clothes to work on Monday, run on Tuesday, take kit home on Friday, and so on. As you run more, you’ll find obvious slots to add extra runs, and a natural rhythm will evolve. Your aching legs will stop you from overdoing it and keep you progressing at a sensible pace. This is a great way to begin your run commuting career, so find a comfortable frequency and stick with it for a while.
For a while, just take your time and build up a healthy base. Get used to your new exercise routine. To begin with, allow yourself to settle into the new pattern and form a habit – the important thing is to make a long lasting positive change to your lifestyle that will hold firm for years to come.
After a time your run commuting routine will become a normal part of your life. You’ll be fitter, stronger, lighter, and (if you’re anything like me!) happier too. And after a while, you might begin to look for new opportunities to run. This is a great opportunity to take your run commuting to the next level – by running both to and from work on the same day.
The idea of running twice per day, or “doubling up”, can be quite intimidating for relatively new run commuters. But just as running to work is an excellent change to your lifestyle, so is deciding to do it twice as often!
When you take the leap and add a double run to your schedule, consider the effects it might have. Firstly, you’re likely to find that the extra run to work is accompanied by extra calories – and extra hunger to go with it! Depending on your goals – losing weight, getting fit, or building stamina – you’ll react differently. Sometimes that means taking a lot of extra lunch, sometimes not. But even if you’re really keen to shed fat, you should still be sure to add a few extra snacks to your day. Even if you’re keen to run a regular calorie deficit, a little extra food is critical to keep your sugar levels up and ensure you’re able to keep yourself moving.
Finding a Balance
The key to the regular “run to work” is to build it into your life in a sustainable way. Add runs to your schedule until you find a comfortable balance, and tweak your routine from there. Perhaps you can add speed work, intervals, longer runs. You’ve got a clear way forward, with plenty of scope for training as much or as little as you like.
Soon enough you’ll have found a sweet spot to provide all of the benefits of running to work without burning yourself out – and from there you’re ready to embark on a lifetime of success. Go to it!
What’s Your Routine?
Everybody has a different way of fitting their regular runs into their life. What’s yours? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!