Run commuting is an oft-overlooked “third way” of getting to work, provided you don’t live an unreasonably long distance from your job. While bike commuting gets all the press, getting your runs in to and from work is a great way to mix your workouts up and to do your part for ol’ Mother Nature. Besides your normal running wear, you’ll need a combination of specialized gear, hygiene supplies, and some good, old-fashioned planning.
1. A running pack
This is the big gear necessity, particularly if you want a decent experience on your runs. While any reasonably sized daypack will get the job done, look for a specialized running pack to minimize bouncing, chafing and discomfort. The Osprey Duro 6 and women’s Dyna 6 hydration packs are lightweight, comfortable, and provide a body-hugging, vest-like fit. They will also provide enough space for a change of clothes and a packed lunch, provided you don’t dress in wool 3-piece suits. If you do, make sure you read the planning section below.
2. Adventure wipes
Not everybody works at a job with showering facilities, or has a membership to a nearby gym, and that’s okay. One of these Adventure Medical Kits Adventure Wipes are 64 inches squared, and plenty thick: enough to get you clean enough to not offend your office mates post-run. Pro tip: bring a small hand towel with you as well to dry yourself off, these wipes are thoroughly moist.
3. Reflective gear
Most important during the darker winter months, a reflective vest and a bike light strapped to the back of your pack are a good investment for keeping you seen and safe on the road. If wearing a reflective vest like Nathan’s Lightfit Vest cramps your style too much–hey, I won’t judge–then a specialized running headlamp like Black Diamond’s Sprinter is also a good choice. It’s lightweight–just 3.7 oz–and is balanced perfectly on your head via a stable elastic strap system and by positioning its battery pack (with integrated red blinking light for visibility) on the back.
4. A plan
This is the most important bit, because run commuting takes a little more logistical consideration than other forms of transport. If you prep your meals on Sundays, then an added step to that routine could be dropping off some of your prepared meals at work ahead of time. If you have to wear more formal attire to work, then keeping some clothes and shoes for the week stashed ahead of time in a locker or in your office is also prudent. Also, you should give yourself enough time not only to run to work, but also enough time to clean up and change as well–probably 15 minutes.