My Words Run

Is run commuting for me?

Over the years I’ve gone through periods of commuting to work by walking, bicycle, train, car and motorcycle. But I’ve never run commuting to work, before today.

I’ve been running regularly for a year and I’m always keen to fit in a run when (family allows) I can. Since completing my longest run to date at the weekend (18.5mi) I’ve been itching to get out again. 

Planning ahead I left my laptop on my desk yesterday so I’d have one less thing to carry. Good job as I decided to use my running hydration backpack (without its water bladder) to carry a change of clothes. I just managed to fit, a t-shirt, shorts, socks and underwear, as well as a can of deodorant.

Strava route map of 6.6mi run commuting Wigan to Westhoughton
Wigan to Westhoughton

The route I had in mind was 6.6mi, the first 4 miles was pretty flat then the final bit was a long hill, only about 200ft/60m of height gain but still very noticeable. It was a very uneventful run in. The route, whilst being the shortest on road route wasn’t the most pleasant. Running alongside rush hour traffic most of the way made the humid air that little bit more unpleasant.

Stew masked up in ALDI after run commuting to work.
Stocking up in ALDI

I decided to end my run at ALDI (close to my office) and pickup some lunch so I didn’t have to mix and match my “work clothes” with my trainers. Lunch bought I’d have time to cool down before a was and change ready to start the day.

I made sure I told everyone who’d listen (and those who wouldn’t) that I’d run to work. As the day progresses the heat outside increases. My route home would need to be along less busy roads and offer some shelter from the sun.

Strava route map of 7.2mi run commuting Westhoughton to Wigan
Westhoughton to Wigan

Time to head home. Lesson here, when you take off your running kit with the intention of putting it back on later in the day, hang it somewhere it can breathe. Do not place it inside a hydration pack, well not unless you want to smell like a dog that’s been swimming in the canal!

My other half offered me a lift home, “but that would be cheating”, “I’m run commuting and nothing is going to stop me”. I really should have checked the weather, 28°C ‘feels like’ 30°C. I loaded up with 2 x 500ml water bottles and set off. Wow it was hot out there, I found myself running between the shade of houses and trees. I also took loads of pauses to drink, making my 1litre of water last till the last ¼ mile from home.

Stew run commuting on the canal bridge in Haigh Hall
I was tempted to jump in to cool off.

I made it home and jumped straight into a cold shower where I stayed for some time.

Job done I’ve completed a run commute, both ways, it really felt great, especially to the morning leg.

Some tips based on today’s experiences:

  • Leave as much stuff as you can in work the day before your run
  • Check the weather
  • Don’t be afraid to run a slower pace, there’s no medal at the end
  • Pick a route you’ll enjoy, even if it’s not the shortest
  • Plan your lunch and snacks in advance
  • Take deodorant 

Will I be run commuting again? 

Definitely, I got to run twice in one day without having to get a pass out. I got to bragg about it (running w4nk3r). I’d heed my tips above, especially the one about the weather.

Would I do anything differently?

I’d carry less clothing in my backpack, leave it at work and bring it home when I’m in the car.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this, found it helpful or have something extra to add, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.


About Stew

Stew is a 45 year old runner from the Northwest of England. He likes to run and motivate others to do the same. Time and distance are unimportant, the action is!