Can You Run Faster Than a Car? Run the Beat the Commute Race and Find Out  – Be Well Philly

The other day, I got out of a cab that had been stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic for a good 10 minutes, because I figured it would take me less time to walk where I was going than to drive there — and the thought that you can get places faster by foot is the idea of the…

Source: Can You Run Faster Than a Car? Run the Beat the Commute Race and Find Out  – Be Well Philly

Thanks to Cathy B. for sending this our way!

By | 2015-05-08T10:14:33+00:00 May 8th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Can You Run Faster Than a Car? Run the Beat the Commute Race and Find Out  – Be Well Philly

The New Run Commuters – January 2015

In our first edition of The New Run Commuters for 2015, we meet Kate Livett from Sydney, Australia. Kate is a recent and die-hard convert to run commuting and though her job contracts and office locations often change, she’s determined to make the run to or from work no matter the circumstances. Rock on, Kate!

If you are interested in being featured in The New Run Commuters, simply fill out the form at the bottom of the post and we’ll get started on your profile. We look forward to hearing your stories! 

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Runner Basics

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New Run Commuter Kate Livett

  • Name: Kate Livett
  • Age: 36
  • Hometown: Sydney, Australia
  • Profession/Employer: Academic (English Literature), various universities around Sydney (currently UNSW)
  • Number of years running: 7 years
  • Number of races per year: None. I went in a couple of road races and was not a huge fan of the crowds, but I’m planning to do some trail ultras in 2015.
  • Do you prefer road or trail? Trails are my passion (Whenever I can I run on trails.) I’m very lucky to live 40 minutes’ drive from a massive national park of native forest with very technical, rocky and rootsy singletrack, loads of mini-waterfalls, giant goannas, echidnas, kangaroos, poisonous snakes (!), unspoiled coastline and generally all-round amazing natural beauty. I try to run in the national park at least once a week. Running in the city, I enjoy looking at people’s gardens and meeting cats and dogs or watching birds in trees, etc., but I hate the aggressive drivers in Sydney, and constantly having to be ‘on my guard’ against crazy cars.

Gear

  • Backpack: I have several…*ahem*. Depending on weather and load, I switch between the Deuter SpeedLite 10, Osprey Stratos 24, Salomon Advanced Skin Set 12 (2013 version) on the road, and Ultimate Direction Wasp and Nathan Intensity for trails. For me, backpacks are as important to get right as shoes.
  • Shoes: Altra Torin for road, Altra Superior and Lone Peak 1.5 for trails, Inov-8 Trailroc 235 for super-technical trails and hills (though,they are too narrow and give me blisters), and flip-flops with shoelaces around the heels for homemade huaraches when it’s hot (see photo). I love zero-drop and wide toeboxes.
  • Clothing: I try to buy from brands that respect at least one of the following ethical criteria: vegan/environmentally sustainable/workers’ rights. This is very limiting; for example, I won’t buy Salomon or Nathan from now on. I know, I know, I have packs by both those brands. They’re awesome packs, too. But, I made the decision to try to “buy ethically” just after I got the Advanced Skin Set and starting sometime is better than never, right? I am hoping they will get some specific policies on ethical issues soon, so I can buy their stuff again! I just bought a long-sleeved Patagonia capilene tee with UPF50+ sun protection. It’s made of 60% recycled plastic bottles. I’ve worn it twice in 90 minute runs in 30-degrees Celsius, and it’s totally awesome — cool and light and protective. Moving Comfort bras. Basic running shorts.
  • Outerwear: Puma PE windbreaker jacket for trail and when I’m not commuting. For run commuting in winter a huge yellow neon cycling windbreaker, which i wear with my pack underneath. It makes me look pretty silly, but ‘safety first’…
  • Headgear: I always wear a cap and Polaroid sunglasses.
  • Lighting: Two bicycle froglights on my pack and reflective clothing.
  • Hydration: None in winter. In summer, I will drink up to a litre of water on the exact same run. I recently bought two Ultimate Direction soft-flasks (see them in the front pockets of my pack in the photo). They’re pricey, but i cannot recommend them highly enough — best investment ever, for trail and road. You don’t have to run with half-empty or empty bottles all the time. They are much better suited to the female anatomy as well.

General Questions

Why did you decide to start run commuting?

I have been obsessed with running since I took it up in my late 20s. Since that time I’ve been employed all over the place at different things, often working from home. I didn’t know there was such a thing as ‘run commuting’, and always did my running before/after work. Looking back, even if I had heard about it, I’m pretty sure I would have thought it was impossible for me to run commute, as I lacked general ‘running knowledge’ and wouldn’t have felt confident running with a backpack, timing my meals etc.

Last year, though, (having accumulated 6 years’ running experience) I got a contract to work regular 9-5 hours in the Sydney CBD, and about a month before I started, I stumbled on The Run Commuter website. The universe aligned, and I decided I wasn’t going to let my running be sacrificed to employment! I read every post on this site and successfully run commuted for that whole 6 months. I’m about to start another contract with regular hours. My New Year’s Resolution is to embrace the changing GPS coordinates of my employment, and to adapt to run commuting wherever the location of my latest workplace. I’m lucky that my partner is very supportive of my run commuting and doesn’t mind if dinner time is delayed a bit because I’m run commuting home.

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Mishi, checking out Kate’s homemade running sandals

How often do you run commute?

Usually four days a week either to or from (mostly to). I would love to do both ways every day, but it would kill me!

How far is your run commute?

Last year’s 6-month stint was 12-14 km one way, depending on the route. The job I’m just about to start is almost the identical distance.

Do you pack or buy a lunch?

I try to pack a sandwich and apple. I admire the runners profiled on this site who run with frozen soup, strawberries, etc.! I’m not sure I’d be successful with that…

What do you like most about run commuting?

Chris Van Dyke, one of the first run commuters profiled on this site, says it best when he says: “How often can you straight up trade something you hate for something you love?” Similarly to Chris, I have loved swapping the peak hour public transport experience (cranky sardines in a slow-moving can…) for exercise and personal room to breathe, and I feel physically and mentally invigorated all day after running to work. When I’m run commuting i’m actually excited to go to work. Like most things in life, once you’ve done it the better way it’s hard to go back. Now I get cranky with myself if I don’t get to run commute because I’ve slept in.

Do you know of anyone else in your area that runs to work?

Runners, no. Quite a few of my colleagues bicycle commute.

When not run commuting, how do you get to work?

Train and then bus (unfortunately). Sometimes drive, but parking is impossible and the aggression of other drivers stresses me out.

If you could give one piece of advice to people considering run commuting, what would it be?

If you’re lucky enough to have showers at work, before you start run commuting try to ascertain what the unofficial “shower schedule” is — if you’re going to be rocking up at the same time each morning you don’t want to find that the shower is “pre-booked” every 15 minutes until lunchtime.

Specifically for the ladies — backpacks are generally made for men’s bodies. It can be discouraging trying to find one that doesn’t bounce, look stupid or feel wrong. Spend extra time researching this key piece of gear, and possibly spend extra cash on it, too. I’ve found it’s worth spending more at the beginning for a superior product– you will save money in the long run by not giving up run commuting due to an uncomfortable pack. (Happily, this logic also justifies my backpack fetish…) At least you’re not shelling out as much as you would for a sport like cycling/golf/triathlon. Also, don’t forget clean socks.

Anything else that you would like to include?

I know some people are put off trying a run commute by the thought that other commuters driving or walking past are ‘judging’ them or staring. But, if you feel self-conscious, just remind yourself: “They are probably very jealous that I am enjoying my commute and they are not.” The other confidence booster I like is the haughty self-question-and-answer: “Are THEY running 12 km to work? No, they aren’t!”

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I'm interested in being featured in The New Run Commuters!

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2014 International Survey of Run Commuters

We’re pleased to release the findings of our first International Survey of Run Commuters!

The survey results can be viewed here, and the raw data is available for public use here. Please acknowledge The Run Commuter if using for a publication/blog/paper/etc.

If you would like to provide any feedback or have any questions, please email us at info@theruncommuter.com.

Here are some of the highlights of the survey:

We received a total of 145 responses from 22 different countries.

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Countries

Run commuters are more likely to be:

Nearly half of the respondents (49%) have been run commuting less than a year.

57% of run commuters run both ways in the same day.

When not commuting by running, the preferred method of transportation is the bicycle, with 55% choosing cycling over other forms of travel.

On average, respondents live 7.47 miles (12 km) away from their workplace.

The average run commute is between 3 – 7 miles (4.8 – 11.2 km).

93% of run commuters have run with a backpack at some time in the past, while 77% continue to do so regularly.

11 respondents run with laptops.

A majority of respondents keep hygiene items (72%), and an extra set of work clothes, including shoes, at the office (~65%).

More than two-thirds of run commuters have access to a shower at their office, but nearly the same amount say that they would still run if none were available.

Aside from running to work, nearly one-fifth of respondents use running to pick up groceries and run errands. 14% occasionally run to meet friends.

An equal number of respondents have run to the pub as have run to the library.

The New Run Commuters – October 2014

We’ve been a bit busy around here lately prepping for ultras, raising kids, and meeting the demands of our non-running day jobs (ugh), but we’re picking back up again and have a some great new stories and articles to share with you. To kick it off, we’re starting with an overdue edition of The New Run Commuters.

In this month’s edition, we feature Seth Leon, a UCLA Statistician from Los Angeles, CA, and Lori Corpuz, a data analyst living in New York City.

If you are interested in being featured in The New Run Commuters, please fill out the form at the end of the post and we’ll be in touch.

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Runner Basics

Seth L. - 02

New Run Commuter Seth Leon

  • Name: Seth Leon
  • Age: 51
  • City/State: Los Angeles, CA
  • Profession/Employer: Statistician, UCLA
  • Number of years running: 4
  • # of races you participate in a year: 2
  • Do you prefer road or trail? I guess I prefer the trails as we have some beautiful trails here in Socal, but 90% of my miles are on the road.

Run Commuting Gear

  • Backpack: Osprey Daylite
  • Shoes: Hoka One Cliftons
  • Clothing:  The usual, but I wear Shock Doctor Knee braces and spandex to prevent chafing
  • Outerwear:
  • Headgear: Usually a hat
  • Lights: I attach some blinkers to my backpack
  • Hydration: None, I’m basically a camel and only need to hydrate on 20+ milers

On Run Commuting

Why did you decide to start run commuting?

About 1 ½ years ago, partly out of necessity as I had a bike I was commuting with stolen. I didn’t think I could handle the mileage as I had been injury prone in the past, but was surprised how I responded to running doubles with a gradual buildup.

Seth, when he's not running

Seth, when he’s not running

How often do you run commute?

5 days a week

How far is your commute?

Typical week of round trips:

  • 2 days, 15 miles each
  • 2 days, 5 miles each
  • 1 day, 4 miles

I drive part way to work so I have go to street parking spots depending on my schedule.

I have done the full 21-mile round trip a few times. I like to do the 15-milers back-to-back (along with a Saturday long run with my group The LA Leggers) on Tuesday/Wednesday, as it seems to help my endurance.

Do you pack or buy a lunch?

Buy

What do you like most about run commuting?

  • Turns the worst part of most days in LA (the commute) into a productive healthy, consistent activity
  • Better for the environment & reduces traffic
  • The morning/evening doubles are great for base building
  • Don’t have to pay for parking, pay less for gas

Do you know of anyone else in your area that runs to work?

I see a few folks, but don’t know them personally.

When not run commuting, how do you get to work?

On rare occasions, say, when I need to wear a suit for an important meeting I drive.

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who was considering run commuting, what would it be?

Do it, but start slow and gradually increase miles or days.

Anything else that you would like to include?

I am fortunate working at UCLA. I have showers and a locker waiting for me when I get to campus. Run commuting (along with those knee braces) allowed me to overcome injuries that were limiting me to 20 miles a week running. Now in large part to the recovery that the doubles allow I am running 65-70 miles a week.

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Runner Basics

New Run Commuter Lori Corpuz

New Run Commuter Lori Corpuz

  • Name: Lori Corpuz
  • Age: 23
  • Location: New York City
  • Profession: Data Analyst in the Financial Services Industry
  • Number of years running: 10
  • # of races you participate in a year: 3+ Half Marathons
  • Do you prefer road or trail? Trail is better for my knees, but I live in a concrete jungle.
  • Preferred Running Application: Nike+
 

Run Commuting Gear

  • Backpack: Nathan Vapor Shape
  • Shoes: Any Nike Stability shoe, looking into Hoka
  • Clothing: Various articles from Nike and Lululemon
  • Outerwear: Various Nike and Lululemon jackets
  • Headgear: Nike Cap, Lululemon beanie
  • Lights: Petzl headlamp
  • Hydration: small glass of Cytomax before the run
 

On Run Commuting

Why did you decide to start run commuting?
I first learned of run commuting from my Executive Director who runs into work everyday. After beginning work in NYC, initially I would do a loop in Central Park or meet-up with various running groups; however, when I began studying for the CFA Designation, I fell off due to time constraints. I realized run-commuting would integrate well by displacing my morning subway ride and keeping me accountable to managing my studies and workouts around my work schedule.
 
Lori C. - 02

Sunrise in Brooklyn, NY

How often do you run commute?

Each morning of the workweek
 
How far is your commute?
5.5+ miles
 
Do you pack or buy a lunch?
Buy at a grocery store upon arrival, or during lunch
 
What do you like most about run commuting?
Waking up to an adventure and amazing sunrise every morning, while tackling many responsibilities at once (i.e. commuting, working out, planning my intentions for the day, photojournalism by way of social media, reading/podcasting, jamming to new music, etc.)
 
Do you know of anyone else in your area that run commutes?
I will soon enough.
 

When not run commuting, how do you get to work?

Lori C. - 03

Scenes from Lori’s run commute

Subway, or I’ll bike.
 
If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who was considering run commuting, what would it be?
Run a few trial runs before the real deal so you can learn from your mistakes beforehand. Otherwise, Concede Nothing and Just Do It.
 
Anything else you would like to include?
In the words of Robert Frost, I strive to take the road “less traveled by, and that has made all the difference”.
 
 
 
 
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Interested in being featured on The Run Commuter? Fill out the form below and you could be in next month’s edition of The New Run Commuters!
 

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Tell us a little about your run commute! (required)

 

By | 2016-10-22T20:26:34+00:00 October 16th, 2014|Categories: General, News, People|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

2014 International Survey of Run Commuters!

THE POLL IS NOW CLOSED

Thank you to everyone who participated! Please stay tuned for the results

Ever want to know how many people are run commuters? How far they run? Which city or country has the most people who run to work? We’d like to know, too! Please help us learn more about the run commuting world by taking part in the first International Survey of Run Commuters!

The survey will be open until September 30th, 2014 and we will publish the results on The Run Commuter in late-October.

Note: You don’t have to be a run commuter to take part. This survey is open to current and former run commuters, as well as anyone who is interested in run commuting.

Once you’ve completed the survey, be sure to share it with your friends and running groups!

The Run Commuter’s bundle of joy

Welcome Wyatt J Woiderski to this wide, wonderful world, and congratulations to Rebecca and Josh on what we’re all certain will be another rad kid!

Closer to home, this means Josh will for a short while take a back seat at The Run Commuter, as he tends to his ever-expanding stable of sons, and consoles Rebecca for having to dwell in Fort Sausage Fest. It also means Hall and I will be stepping up to take on Josh’s usual duties at the site, so you can expect a good deal more salty language.

Will this papoose fit in a run commuting pack??

Wyatt

 

By | 2016-10-22T20:26:36+00:00 August 4th, 2014|Categories: General, News|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Q&A with UK’s #run2workday Founder Gordon Lott

If you are from London, you may have recently noticed a significant increase in media coverage related to run commuting. And, if you dig through the deluge of television stars and top athletes touting their love and support of running to work in the London Evening Standard and elsewhere, you’ll find one man behind it all.

The founder of #run2workday (June 5th, 2014) and health advocate behind a tax-free running gear petition in the UK, Gordon Lott, 40, believes people should ditch the Tube and instead turn to run commuting to help maintain their fitness and ease overcrowding on London’s transit system. And, he’s not alone. The Mayor of London has gone all-in on the idea…

We asked Gordon about his beginnings, his vision for #run2workday, and what the future holds for cities and politicians that support running to work as a regular commute option.

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Tell us a little about yourself. What is your background? Are you a runner?

I’ve always loved ball sports and I only got in to running when I decided to do a triathlon 6 years ago as a new goal for myself to get fit. I now do two or three Triathlons a year to help keep the weight off – I weigh 95kgs, so I’m not naturally built for running; I drink too much, I’ve smoked; I love chocolate and food, so running is a necessity for me to stay fit and keep the weight off, and I love the feeling of achievement having been on a run.

How did the idea for #run2workday and the tax petition originate?

I felt running needed a campaign to attract more people to it – not just those already predisposed to running.  There are lots of 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, and great events like Tough Mudder and triathlons, but too often these events speak to people who are already fit and running. What we haven’t done well is engage people who don’t naturally consider running or jogging, however far, to be active and healthy.   Many, like me don’t ‘love’ running and probably never will, but I certainly enjoy the sense of achievement when I do it, and running to work, even just two or three times a week, is an easy way of keeping fit within your daily routine and can save people a lot of travel money. 

Our mission is to help get 1 million more people running at least once a week by 2020 (currently it stands at 2 million, so its a 50% increase).

So I set up www.run2work.com as the first dedicated hub to helping people run to work in the UK.  The Route Planner shows you the quickest and shortest route to take, and you can set up run2work Groups with people at home or work who will keep you motivated. #run2workday is an idea to help people try running to work, and with our Partners including the Evening Standard, Virgin Active, and Amazon Audible, we’re giving people information and incentives to do so.  

However #run2workday isn’t a long term, sustainable solution.  To create real change, we need to provide more information, the right kit (such as ruck sacks to carry laptops), and environment (such as more showers at work), and incentivise people.  That’s why we’ve launched the petition for the cost of running to work to be tax-free which could save people over £100 a year.  The long term savings to the National Health Service and Transport system far outweigh the tiny reduction in tax income.  In the UK, Cycling to Work is already tax-free – you purchase a bike and equipment through an employer’s scheme before tax on your salary is deducted.  Over 500,000 have signed up to one of these schemes, which is 65% of all people who cycle to work, so it has clearly worked and cycling as a sport is experiencing fantastic growth. 

Why did you choose Thursday, June 5, 2014 for #run2workday?

Thursday 5 June is the first #run2workday – we’re holding them throughout the summer on the first Thursday of each month, so we help people make it a habit and not a one off. They all fall between a number of running and mass participation events, so we hope people can use Running to Work as a way to train and stay fit.

Is #run2workday mainly for the people of London and the surrounding area or is it open to runners from around the world?

The offers people get for taking part in #run2workday are just for the UK, however people all over the world are taking part in #run2workday which is great – the more the merrier!

How did the mayor of London become involved with this project?

One of the Mayor of London’s biggest priorities is to reduce overcrowding on London’s Tube Network – he wants fewer people to use it because there is only finite capacity, so for him and TfL (Transport for London), more people running to work can help them achieve this objective.

run2work logo 300 x 250Do you think participation by the mayor and star athletes will increase public buy-in?

We certainly hope so, and we also hope David Cameron, the UK’s Prime Minister, will also take part – he regularly runs in London’s Parks, so maybe he could run to the Houses of Commons or another meeting.

Cycling to work typically faces a social barrier: drivers vs. bikers, and who owns the roads; however, run commuting’s bane is usually that, unless one’s workplace touts showers, people see it as unhygienic. Do you think that will be a significant barrier to run2work?

I don’t see a lack of showers being any more of an issue for running to work than it is for cycling to work. Yes, there are some people who cycle only a short distance and don’t need a shower, but many who do cycle in need a shower, so the shower facilities issue is really important for everyone who wants to get fit running or cycling to work. As well as tax-free running kit, we also believe the government needs to regulate or incentivize builders to put more shower facilities in any new-build or redevelopment project.

The Route Planner is fantastic! Do you see any future applications for it beyond #run2workday?

Absolutely – we want to do much more with it, such as create printable versions, expand the map size, and show alternative routes. We also hope to create an app once we get additional funding.

What would it take for you to consider this scheme a success: several dozen who participate the one day, as something of a novelty or one-off; or conversion of some commuters to dedicated run commuters, from their other modes?

In the long term, success will be when more people than don’t say that running to work is an easy way to commute and stay fit, whether part or all the way, and however regularly they run.

Great question! In the short-term, we’re hoping 10,000 people will join in #run2workday over the summer 2014 – we have just shy of 1,000 already signed up in just three weeks since launch, so we’re on track. Making running to work tax-free, incentivizing more showers, helping people set up run2work groups and other initiatives such as these will helps us achieve this ambition.

For more about #run2workday visit their website and join the run2work Facebook Group.

By | 2016-12-24T10:30:09+00:00 May 15th, 2014|Categories: General, News|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment

The New Run Commuters – May 2014

It’s already May! Hopefully your run commute no longer involves snow (sorry, those of you in the upper elevations of a few Canadian Provinces and several US states!). However, with warmer temps come more heat-related running issues, so stay tuned for  high-temperature tips and information that will keep your all-weather, year-round run commutes worry-free.

In this month’s feature, we meet Anna, a seasoned ultramarathoner and aspiring 100-mile finisher; and Aad, a frugal, minimalist run commuter in the Netherlands, who can be found running bridges and viaducts to get in his hill training. As always, if you are interested in being featured, fill out the form at the end of the post. See you next month!

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Runner Basics

  • Name: Anna Liao
    Anna L 0002

    Anna Liao

  • Age: 33
  • City/State: Berkeley, CA
  • Profession/Employer: Energy Efficiency Engineer, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Number of years running: Ran cross country in middle school and high school, then stopped running until my half marathon and triathlon phase in 2007-2008. Started running again late-2011 to train for the Big Sur Marathon, discovered trail running and the awesome Berkeley Running Club and now running is an integral part of my routine.
  • # of races you participate in a year: 6 in 2013
  • Do you prefer road or trail? Trail. I love running on single track and enjoying the great views. I have run a few 50k trail races and am currently training for my first 100k trail race (Miwok 100k) in May.

Run Commuting Gear

  • Backpack: I usually run commute with an old Camelbak M.U.L.E. where I cinched up the straps for stability. The Camelbak has a good amount of capacity for schlepping what I need to bring to work. I also have a Nathan Intensity hydration vest and the Ultimate Direction Jenny Ultra Vesta pack. The Jenny pack is new and really comfortable, though not much storage capacity. The small bottles in the front are really useful.
  • Shoes: I usually run commute with the Montrail Rogue Racers. I also run with the Altra Intuition when I want something swifter. I run road races and track workouts with the Intuition. Altra Delilah if I want something minimalist.
  • Clothing: Lightweight merino wool tank/shirt (Icebreaker, Smartwool, Ibex) or tech tee, shorts or run skort, arm coolers. In colder weather, I wear run capris and long sleeve lightweight merino wool top.
  • Outerwear: Marmot Stride Vest or Patagonia Houdini in rainy/windy conditions.
  • Headgear: White visor or white Outdoor Research Sunrunner cap. Asics hat with water resistant material for rainy weather.
  • Lights: Clip-on Nathan flashing LED light for the back of my pack and handheld mini LED flashlight for front illumination (moreso to alert other pedestrians on the streets). I use the Black Diamond ReVolt when running on trails.
  • Hydration: Plastic bottle in pack. Also, have a hydrapak bladder but usually only use it for long trail runs, and not run commuting. I usually only drink water during run commuting. For runs > 10 miles, I will use SaltStick and 3fu3l (carb/protein/fat mix) for long slow runs or Tailwind (electrolyte mix) for medium distance faster runs.

On Run Commuting

Anna L 0004

View of San Francisco Bay from Anna’s Run Commute Route

Why did you decide to start run commuting?

My boyfriend who runs 100-mile races started run commuting 5 years ago. He was the one that inspired me to try it. I started with walking to work and gradually added in running.

How often do you run commute?

I try to run commute every day though sometimes I will walk instead if I’m recovering from a weekend long run or I drive if I need my car to go somewhere directly from work.

How far is your commute?

Most direct route is 1.5 mi, 500’ gain. When I want to add on some mileage, I make it a big loop up a 15% grade 1-mi hill to make it a 4.8 mi, 1100’ gain route.

Do you pack or buy a lunch?

I usually buy lunch. Sometimes I will bring some fruit for snacks and bread and almond butter for a post-run breakfast.

What do you like most about run commuting?

It’s a great way to jumpstart my day and unwind after the work day. I also like seeing my fitness and speed improve over time. I discovered that I enjoyed commuting via walking, running, or even biking so much more than being in a car. Particularly in dense urban areas, driving is really stressful.

Do you know of anyone else in your area that runs to work?

My boyfriend is the only other person I know in the area that run commutes. He doesn’t own a car so he run commutes everywhere (to my apartment, to the pub, etc.). There are many people at work that commute via biking or walking, but I have not seen any other run commuters.

When not run commuting, how do you get to work?

I drive, walk, or take the shuttle.

Anna L 0005

Anna’s Clothes Drying System

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who was considering run commuting, what would it be?

Ease into it. Maybe start with walking first. You could also just run commute once a week at the beginning and then add more days as you get more comfortable.

Anything else that you would like to include?

I leave my towel, shampoo/conditioner, and soap in a tote bag at work and there is a shower in the women’s restroom in the building next to my office.

Long commute: http://www.strava.com/activities/122629247
Short commute: http://www.strava.com/activities/112627881

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Aad vd Sman 0017

Aad van der Sman

Runner Basics

  • Name: Aad van der Sman
  • Age: 57
  • City/Province/Country: Nieuwegein, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Profession/Employer: Travel Consultant BCD Travel
  • Number of years running: More than 20 years
  • # of races you participate in a year: I have not ran many over the past few years – only 4 to 6 in the year and mostly only in my own region. Some years ago, I ran 2 marathons a year; for instance New York and Berlin.
  • Do you prefer road or trail? I prefer running the road. For me, this is the easiest – just close the door and go.

Run Commuting Gear

Aad's Backpack

Aad’s Backpack

Backpack: Lightweight running-backpack made from lycra from Innovation of Sport and a SPIbelt: I try to carry as little as possible. Something about my back-pack: Lycra is stretchy, breathable and weighs almost nothing. You hardly feel that you are carrying something. The backpack has four storage compartments, with a larger one on the left. The front has a small compartment, too. In my backpack I carry my SPIbelt sandwiches, phone, keys and a small water bottle. When I bike to work, I carry towels, shower gel, dry clothing, etc. for the next morning.

  • Shoes: For the last couple of months I’ve been using Sockwa, a “shoe” with a super-thin sole. They are zero drop, with the sole being just 1.2 millimeters thick everywhere! And they are the lightest shoe available.
  • Jacket and New York Marathon Shirt

    Jacket and New York Marathon Shirt

    Clothing: I don’t use a special brand. I have Nike and Asics, but also cheap clothing from the discounter. Sometimes they sell cheap running stuff of rather good quality.

  • Outerwear: My favourite outerwear is the nightlife clothing from Brooks: Tights and a jacket. This stuff is ideal to run in the darkness, and in the winter this stuff keeps me warm as well.
  • Headgear: I wear a wool hat, but only when it is extremely cold.
  • Lights: Just 2 bike-lights; one with a white led-light for the front and 1 red light for the back.
  • Hydration: During weekend long runs I use Isostar or AA-drink. I carry no drink with me during run commuting.
  • On Run Commuting

    Aad vd Sman 0016

    A view along Aad’s route

    Why did you decide to start run commuting?

    It saves so much time!  That is the most important reason to run from home to work and vice-versa. And I don’t have to run in the evening, when I would rather be watching a soccer game or an other program. Run commuting is a part of my nearly daily routine.

    How often do you run commute?

    Monday, after work, I run from work to home and the next morning, I run from home to work. Same schedule for Thursday and Friday. So 4 times a week I run from work to home, or from home to work.

    How far is your commute?

    The shortest route is just 4 miles, but I run mostly between 6 to 10 miles by making a detour. On Monday when I run from work to home, the route is the longest – about 10 miles. Friday, the route is shorter, but then I do mostly hill training. As Holland is a flat country there are no hills, so I use bridges and viaducts.

    Do you pack or buy a lunch?
    I make my own sandwiches.

    What do you like most about run commuting?

    I like the morning run the most. It is still very quiet on the road and you start your working-day very relaxed.

    Do you know of anyone else in your area that runs to work?

    I know some people from Facebook and Twitter do, but I don’t know them personally. As far as I know, none of my colleagues are run commuters.

    Aad vd Sman 0013

    Aad uses these lights to increase his visibility.

    When not run commuting, how do you get to work?

    I use my bike.

    If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who was considering run commuting, what would it be?

    Just try it and see if it works for you.

    Anything else that you would like to include?

    I have a tip if you carry a mobile phone. Mention in your contacts ICE – This stands for In Case of an Emergency and add a phone number of the person they have to call in case something happens to you.

    ———————————————–

    Are you interested in being featured in an upcoming The New Run Commuters feature? If so, please let us know by filling out the form below.

    (Note: “New” can be anywhere from a week to a year.)

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    By | 2016-10-22T20:26:38+00:00 May 13th, 2014|Categories: General, News, People|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments
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    The New Run Commuters – April 2014

    In this month’s TNRC feature, we profile M. Suzette from Atlanta, GA, and Presh from Washington D.C. Loving the city life and rich history of D.C., Presh talks about packing light and that familiar, sinking feeling of being passed by a runner while sitting in traffic. M. Suzette, a nurse at a children’s hospital here in Atlanta, talks about choosing run commuting over the lure of wine and long shuttle bus rides. She is also TRC’s newest contributor, so stay tuned for more on M. Suzette and her tips, tricks, and stories about running to work!

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    Runner Basics

    • Name: M. Suzette Birdling
      New Run Commuter M. Suzette - Before and After

      New Run Commuter M. Suzette – Before and After

    • Age: 35
    • City/State: Atlanta, GA
    • Profession/Employer: Registered nurse at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
    • Number of years running: 5
    • # of races you participate in a year: I pay for 1 or 2 (Peachtree and one other), but I race myself every time I go out.
    • Do you prefer road or trail? I have to have a preference? I love them both! Sometimes I want to feel like a wild animal running and jumping over obstacles through the woods, and sometimes I prefer the urban wilderness, dodging cars and navigating uneven pavement.

    Run Commuting Gear

    M. Suzette's backpack contents

    M. Suzette’s backpack contents

    • Backpack: Camelbak Mule without the bladder. 
    • Shoes: I alternate between a pair of Saucony Ride 5 and Brooks Ravenna 4
    • Clothing: Shorts, tech fabric shirt, knee socks and a lightweight pullover if it’s below 30 degrees, shorties and no pullover if it’s warmer. Occasionally if the weather is different than I anticipated, I will run home in all or part of my uniform.
    • Outerwear: I wear a Nike Run pullover hoodie for warmth. It has lots of reflective patches which is a bonus. I’ve been lucky and not had rain any day that I planned to run commute, so I actually don’t have any rain gear. I’m not sure yet how I’ll handle rain.
    • Headgear: None. I fix my hair before I leave home, and headgear would mess it up! 
    • Lights: Err, none. I have reflective things on my pack and shorts and shoes though.
    • Hydration: It’s only 2.7 miles, I just drink when I get there.

    On Run Commuting

    Why did you decide to start run commuting?

    A couple of months ago CHOA moved a lot of our parking over to Emory. We then take a shuttle bus to the hospital. It took my 2.7 mile/ 15 min car commute to over 35 minutes. I thought about riding my bike, but then I saw The Run Commuter website and knew I’d found a great solution to multiple problems. I am a single mother and I work long shifts. Most of my runs are while the kids are at school. And after getting up at the crack, working a 12+ hour shift on my feet all day, I know that if I go home to change for a run, I am going to pour myself a glass of wine instead and hope for more energy tomorrow.  Even though my commute isn’t very far, it takes less time to run there than to drive, and I am getting in some exercise on days when I otherwise wouldn’t. Plus, I’m finding it’s incredibly cathartic to change out of my scrubs, lace up my shoes and just run away after a particularly stressful day.

    How often do you run commute?

    2-3 days a week. I work 12-hr shifts and tend to work them all in a row. I drive in on the first day with a few changes of scrubs, running clothes and shoes, Luna and Lara bars, some fruit like oranges or apples, and all my cleaning-up stuff. I leave it all in my locker until the last shift of the week when I drive home with all the dirty laundry.

    How far is your commute?

    Arriving at the office

    Arriving at the office

    It’s 2.7 miles by the shortest route; somehow it feels all uphill both ways. I don’t really try to go fast on the way to work. I don’t want to be a sweat ball when I get there. I have very enthusiastic sweat glands.

    Do you pack or buy a lunch?

    I do both. I also bring my breakfast. Usually a pita sandwich of some kind, a piece of fruit and an Illy coffee drink (or 2) in a can.

    What do you like most about run commuting?

    I like the feeling that I have accomplished at least one good thing for myself in a day. When I get to work, everyone else is still sleepy and grumpy, but I’m sweaty and smiling. My face is bright, and I am awake! 

     

    Drying clothes at work

    Drying clothes at work

    Do you know of anyone else in your area that runs to work?

    Nope, no one. I often run past a gentleman (going the opposite direction) who looks like he might be run-commuting. We just do the “Hey, Other Runner! God that hill sucks. No way, I’m not out of breath…” two-finger wave across Briarcliff Rd though. And the way the hospital greeters look at me when I walk in, like I’ve just stepped off a spaceship, suggests that not a lot of other people run commute there.

     When not run commuting, how do you get to work?

    I just drive, park with the rest of the red-headed stepchildren, and ride das Bus.

    If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who was considering run commuting, what would it be?

    Once you get yourself organized, it’s easier than you think. You’re not going to stink, and no one cares if your hair is perfect anyway. 

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     Runner Basics

    • Name: Presh (“Precious”)
    Presh ready to run

    New Run Commuter Presh

  • Age:  31
  • City/State: Washington, D.C.
  • Profession/Employer:  Regulatory Affairs, Georgetown University Medical Center
  • Number of years running:  8 years on and off
  • # of races you participate in a year: 0
  • Do you prefer road or trail?  I find road running the most stimulating.  I’ve given trails a shot, but I’m energized by the city, and people walking, riding bikes, shopping, etc.
  • Run Commuting Gear

    • Backpack: I converted a spacious Targus laptop bag with a snug chest belt.  Winter was brutal, so the bag made it tons easier to carry clothes, my coat and lunch in separate compartments.  To keep the load light, I keep a few pairs of pumps at the office.  For summer, I plan to upgrade to an Osprey.
    • Shoes: Champion Lattice runner
    • Clothing: Random long- and short-sleeve shirts, and my fave Aspire running tights.  Overall, I keep it pretty simple.
    • Outerwear: A light wool sweater to wick sweat, since I tend to warm up rather quickly.
    • Headgear: 180s fleece ear warmers on really cold days; otherwise nothing.
    • Lights: None
    • Hydration: None

    On Run Commuting

    Logan Circle in the morning

    Logan Circle in the morning

    Why did you decide to start run commuting?   

    Last fall, I started running to work for a handful of reasons.  Using public transit, I might spend two hours round-trip just sitting, which is awful.  Add to that anxiety from the heavy AM and PM rush and delays caused by bad driving and motorcades. Lastly, it made sense to integrate my workout into the early part of my day, instead of wasting more time at the gym later.

    How often do you run commute?

    So far, four times a week, but eventually I’d like to run all morning and evening commutes.

    How far is your commute?

    The total distance from home to the office is 6.5 miles, but I run 3.6 miles from home to Georgetown’s shuttle stop in Dupont Circle in the morning, or vice versa in the evening.  

    Do you pack or buy a lunch?

    I pack – helps me save cash and eat a lot healthier.  On non-running days, I replenish my office calorie stash with staples like oatmeal, fruit and nuts.

    What do you like most about run commuting?

    Freedom to enjoy the beauty of Washington, DC at a leisurely pace!  The city has so many architectural jewels off the beaten path of the Mall; it’s hard not to drool during my runs.  Also, every run is a mid-week victory, even when I finish feeling battered by the day.  Not only am I clearing four 5Ks a week but do so with almost zero emissions compared to driving.  And since exercise is built into my day, I no longer have the luxury of finding excuses not to workout.

    Do you know of anyone else in your area that runs to work?

    Dupont - Autumn

    Dupont – Autumn

    No, but here and there I spot a few other run commuters along my route, which is always encouraging.

    When not run commuting, how do you get to work? 

    As an urban dweller, I prefer to leave the car (and the road rage) parked at home, so I take Metrobus.  Unfortunately, the hour-long haul makes me a bit stir crazy.  Every time a runner zooms past the bus, I inwardly cringe and wish I’d brought my running shoes and backpack.

    If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who was considering run commuting, what would it be?

    If you’re on the fence, just go for it.  The distance between home and work is probably feasible, so it’s worth it to run, especially if you’re constantly getting stuck in traffic and then park yourself at a desk all day.  Plus, all your friends will envy your strong legs, and you’ll also feel awesome when your doctor applauds you for a low resting heart rate.

    Anything else that you would like to include?

    Protect your back and hips: invest in a good backpack and pack light!

     ———————————————–

    Are you interested in being featured in an upcoming The New Run Commuters feature? If so, please let us know by filling out the form below.

    (Note: “New” can be anywhere from a week to a year.)

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    By | 2016-10-22T20:26:41+00:00 April 17th, 2014|Categories: General, News, People|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

    The New Run Commuters – March 2014

    This month on The New Run Commuters, we hear from Becky from Portland, Oregon, and Anna, hailing form Washington D.C. Both work in professional office environments and make run commuting a part of their day – even while living a considerable distance from the office! Becky combines driving and run commuting; Anna, running and pubic transit. 

    Read up on how run commuting has helped these runners train for long-distance and ultra races, watch for a great tip on transporting food, and if you are interested in women-specific running gear, you won’t want to miss Becky’s gear list!

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    Runner Basics

    • Name: Becky Leung
      run commuter, run commuting, running to work, alternative commute, Becky Leung, Portland runner

      New Run Commuter Becky Leung

    • Age: 30
    • City/State: Portland, Oregon
    • Profession/Employer: Public Relations at The New Group
    • Number of years running: 7
    • # of races you participate in a year: In the last couple years, I’ve been running 12-15 races a year!
    • Do you prefer road or trail (and a little about why)? I really enjoy both, but I fell in love with trail running after consistently training on Forest Park trails last summer. For years, I was strictly road running and tried to beat my PR in every road race distance. I loved getting faster on the pavement but wanted a change of scenery.

    Outside of my obsession with running, I started getting into hiking and even experimented with some entry level mountain biking, but realized I could run those same trails! One day, I decided “that’s it, I WANT to be a trail runner.” I started running in Forest Park a few days a week and now I’m currently training for my first ultramarathon, the Gorge Waterfalls 50k!

    Run Commuting Gear

    On Run Commuting

    Why did you decide to start run commuting?

    I live in the suburbs outside of Portland which unfortunately happens to be pretty far away from my work. As I was beginning to ramp up on my 50k training in late January (of this year), I realized I didn’t have the energy to: get all my scheduled runs in, drive to work and sit in traffic for nearly 2 hours a day, work a full day, and cook and clean…among all the other important things I have to do each day.

    As I drove to work one day, sitting in traffic for over an hour, I saw that there were plenty of safe, runnable sidewalks all along the way to work. I mapped out my route via Google Maps and found that if I drove 11 miles close to work and park 3.5 miles away, I could run 7 miles round-trip on each run commute day. Because the route I usually go to has traffic due to ongoing construction, I drive another longer route to avoid congestion which is an additional 14 miles each day. After doing some math, I realized if I run commute 5 days a week, I could save 100 miles each week on gas! And on top of that, I could get my runs in for my ultra and marathon distance training.

    run commuter, run commuting, running to work, alternative commute, Becky Leung, Portland runner

    Wearing the Osprey Sirrus 24

    I would love to run 5 days a week, but sticking to 2-3 days a week as I nail down a consistent routine and schedule.

    How far is your commute?

    Each run commute is 6.6-7 miles round-trip, depending on where I park my car. I love being able to pick my distance by parking closer or further away from work.

    Do you pack or buy a lunch?

    I have been sticking to a solid routine in which I bring my lunch every day to work. I usually drive in on Monday and bring in all my breakfasts, lunches, and snacks to work. That way, I know I won’t have to worry about packing food in my backpack and accidentally spilling them all over my clothes. By Friday, all my food will have been consumed and I can pack up all my containers in my car to bring them back home.

    What do you like most about run commuting?

    What I love the most about run commuting is how great I feel when I come into work and when I’m coming back home. I NEVER regret a run even if I felt crappy during the run.

    I also feel happy knowing I’m creating a better environment by reducing my car commutes with running. Other reasons why I love run commuting are because I can fit in a run for my ultra marathon training, stay fit, and compete with my Fitbit friends (another great motivator :)).

    Do you know of anyone else in your area that runs to work?

    I heard that Portland is one of the top bike commuter cities in the nation, but I only know of a few run commuters personally. I definitely see a lot of runners around the city, but not sure if they’re running to work. I want to help change that and hopefully motivate other Portlanders run to work!

    run commuter, run commuting, running to work, alternative commute, Becky Leung, Portland runner

    A scene from Becky’s run commute

    When not run commuting, how do you get to work?

    Driving my car the entire way to work since I live far away in the suburbs.

    If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who was considering run commuting, what would it be?

    Don’t overthink it, just try it out. That includes not overthinking the logistics and not thinking about what co-workers might think of you (if you’re worried about how you look after a run). Just map out your route, throw some clothes in a backpack, and run. Then through trial and error, figure out a run commute routine that works best for you! Theruncommuter.com is a GREAT resource for any questions you may have.

    Anything more about yourself that would like to include?

    I have been running for the Oiselle team for the last two years.. We have several ladies on the team from all over the country who run commute including another TRC contributor, Stephanie Devlin! They’re my inspiration and have been cheering for me in this run commute journey. I also plan to start a website around run commuting in Portland, Oregon specifically so I can inspire locals to run commute in real time!

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    Runner Basics

    • Name: Anna Coffey
      run commuter, run commuting, running to work, alternative commute, Anna Coffey, DC runner, Washington DC runner

      New Run Commuter Anna Coffey

    • Age: 28
    • City/State: Washington, DC
    • Profession/Employer: Georgetown University Lombardi Cancer Center– Histopathology and Tissue Shared Resource Lab
    • Number of years running: 4
    • # of races you participate in a year: 3-4
    • Do you prefer road or trail? I prefer trail, but mostly end up on road because it’s the most prevalent thing around these parts.

    Run Commuting Gear

    • Backpack: REI Flash 18 Pack
    • Shoes: Brooks PureFlow 3
    • Clothing: Tights, base layer long-sleeved tee and sweatshirt, beanie, gloves
    • Outerwear: Lightweight jacket (when it’s < 20)
    • Headgear: None
    • Lights: None
    • Hydration: None for this winter, but I may add a Camelbak bladder to my pack for the sweltering DC summer.

    On Run Commuting

    Why did you decide to start run commuting?

    After I finished training for the Marine Corps Marathon in October, I wanted to find a way to get back to a regular running routine. At the same time, I was frustrated with the nearly 3 hours a day I spent commuting on the Metro and Georgetown shuttle bus system. When I considered how much time the run commute would save, it was a no-brainer.

    How often do you run commute?

    Right now I run commute about 3 days a week, but I’m hoping to ramp up to all 5 days soon.

    How far is your commute?

    It’s a little over 3 miles each way, 6 miles total. I enjoy the option of being able to easily lengthen the runs if the weather is particularly nice or I just feel like swinging by the White House, Washington Monument, and Lincoln Memorial some mornings. One great thing about DC is that things really are not too far apart. It’s easy to get off at one Metro stop and run pretty much anywhere you want to go.

    run commuter, run commuting, running to work, alternative commute, Anna Coffey, DC runner, Washington DC runner

    Early morning view of the Washington Monument

    I usually pack my breakfast and lunch. The easiest things to carry are sandwiches or wraps with carrot sticks or another veggie for lunch and oatmeal with possibly a boiled egg or 2 for breakfast. I’ve had a bad experience with a container of soup leaking all over my clothes, so now if I take soup, I make sure to freeze it before throwing it in my pack. It’s definitely heavier, but some soup is just worth it. Salad also makes for an easy lunch.

    What do you like most about run commuting?

    I absolutely love that it saves me at least an hour a day. Who doesn’t want more time every day? Even though my commute is still about the same amount of time, it combines my commute and running time, killing 2 birds with one stone. My old commute involved driving to the Metro station, taking 1 Metro line, transferring to another line, and then getting on a shuttle bus to get to Georgetown and then I would go to the gym. It was awful – crowded trains, hectic transfers, and lots of standing around and waiting for one form of transportation or another. The new commute allows me to avoid the crowds, transfers, and standing around.

    Another thing that I’ve always enjoyed about morning runs in DC is that you get to experience the city when it’s still waking up. It’s quiet, traffic hasn’t gotten too bad at this point, tourists aren’t yet crowding the sidewalks, and you’ve got the best views basically all to yourself. We moved from DC to Maryland about a year ago and I thought I wouldn’t be able to enjoy these morning runs in the city anymore, until I started run commuting.

    Do you know of anyone else in your area that runs to work?

    run commuter, run commuting, running to work, alternative commute, Anna Coffey, DC runner, Washington DC runner

    Anna’s clothes drying system

    I don’t know anyone else that runs to work, though I’m trying to convince all the runners I know to give it a try.

    When not run commuting, how do you get to work?

    When I’m not run commuting, I’ll normally take just one Metro line and walk to the shuttle bus stop. My run commute has even helped me find better routes to walk when I’m not running! Once the weather gets warmer, and there’s more light early in the morning, I’m planning to bike to the Metro station instead of driving and then continue with my regular run commute from there. This will save me about $4.00 a day in parking fees, which I’m definitely looking forward to.

    If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who was considering run commuting, what would it be?

    The thing that has really made my run commute more enjoyable was finding a great pack that can easily fit everything I need and straps down securely to keep it from wiggling too much. The first few runs I tried with a pack that had way too much side-to-side movement. I felt some pain and tightness in my knee and had to back off for a few days, which was a bit frustrating. I think the key thing is that you want a pack that allows you to carry everything you need, but doesn’t change your form too much so that you can run as normally as possible.

    run commuter, run commuting, running to work, alternative commute, Anna Coffey, DC runner, Washington DC runner

    The Lincoln Memorial from afar

    One thing I’ve noticed recently is that my pace for my weekend fun runs is actually improving. I think the twice a day running and the additional few pounds in my pack is helping me improve my time, and what runner wouldn’t want to do that? 

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    If you are a new or semi-new run commuter and want the running world to hear your story, let us know!
    We are now accepting submissions for May and June. If you are interested, submit the form below and we’ll contact you.
     
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    By | 2016-10-22T20:26:42+00:00 March 17th, 2014|Categories: General, News, People|Tags: , , , , , , |4 Comments
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