We’re pleased to release the findings of our first International Survey of Run Commuters!
If you would like to provide any feedback or have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some of the highlights of the survey:
We received a total of 145 responses from 22 different 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.
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.
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).
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.
Do 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.
For more about #run2workday visit their website and join the run2work Facebook Group.
HLN ran a feature on Josh and his run commute! Josh talks about how he, and we, got started, what it’s all about, why, and how. He sounded professional and informed, and looked handsome and rugged, and made us all-around proud.
If your colleagues and dear ones ask you to summarize run commuting, direct them there — then nudge them toward trying it for themselves.
BONUS: we are still on the HLN Top 10, but this morning ranked second, sandwiched between murder.
What are you doing on Friday, April 26th? Hopefully running to or from work along with thousands of people around the globe!
The fantastic folks over at Run to Work Day are promoting this year’s global day of run commuting by asking those that participate to donate the money they would have spent on vehicle/transit travel to a wonderful organization that works with children facing adversity – Right to Play.
You can register (free) for the event through the link on their homepage and by doing so, you’ll become eligible for rewards and incentives (RunRelay magazine digital download). You will even be able to upload/register your miles and/or route through the site, so that a worldwide total can be calculated.
From the site:
Unlike other running events there is no fixed or minimum distance to cover. You can pick your own route, distance and time of day plus decide if you want to run solo or with a colleague. If you have a long work commute perhaps you could plan to run just part of your travel distance by committing to get off the bus, train or underground a stop or two earlier than usual.
RUN TO WORK DAY in not just an opportunity for runners around the world to ‘run for good’ it is also a chance for employers to encourage colleagues to create a healthy and active workplace. Further, we anticipate that many firms will agree to match-fund their employees’ charitable donations.
Here are some promotional flyers to print out and hang at your office or local running store/club:
Hey Run Commuters,
We just wanted to let you know what’s been going on in the land of run commuting over these past few weeks.
Run Commuter Marathon Relay
On October 7th, TRC organized a marathon relay along the Streets Alive route (we were #62 on the map).
We had a lot of fun with this. Many people stopped by and inquired about run commuting, or told us about their own run commutes. The sports editor of Urban China magazine (who wrote about us in one of their issues) even stopped by! She’s now pursuing a post-grad degree at Georgia Tech.
We’re going global!
The latest edition of Urban China magazine featured a very cool article on “Community-based Micro-sports,” devoting a two-page spread to run commuting (and a pic of TRC’s Josh and Kyle). They even included a bit about the Atlanta BeltLine and Historic Fourth Ward Park.
The section on run commuting features general tips on gear selection and packing, choosing a route, and cleaning up once you arrive. Other pages cover running at work during lunch hours, after work and on weekends with friends, and fitting in workouts when you only have a short amount of time available.
Editor Tao Shiqi writes, (and this is translated very loosely using Google Translate):
Although we in China are successful in competitive sports, our public awareness of fitness is still in its infancy. A 2010 survey in Jiangsu Province revealed that more than 80.3% of the respondents do not have any fixed fitness habits. Micro-movement is a more social and effective way for city people to regain the habit of doing exercise. From the use of fragmented time, micro fitness is an intermediate state with aspects of commuting, socializing, and working, to the movement regarding habits of life and enjoying the fun of it all.
For the non-run commuters out there – how do you exercise when you are short on time?
Just a reminder that this Friday, February 24th is Run to Work Day, organized by ultrarunner Shannon Price.
So far, 970 people have said they’ll be running to or from work! Here is the info from the Facebook event page:
So here we go!!! I wanted to start by thanking all of you all over the globe for the interest in the First Annual Run to Work Day. The overall purpose of this event is to motivate, inspire, have fun, and replace a commute to/from work or home office. There will be no restrictions to the mileage but I do have a few rules to cover.
1. Be Safe – Please take the time to prepare a good safe route. Tell others where you are going and when you intend to get there. Please let others know when you have arrived. I recommend a headlamp (if needed), reflective gear, and lighter colored clothing.
2. Be Prepared – Running in late February can sometime be harder than normal (which makes it more fun). Be adequately dressed and have nutrition to cover the mileage. Please carry a cell phone if possible.
3. Document – I would love to read everyone’s stories, see pictures, and view videos from your journey. That is why the Facebook page is created. Feel free to post before, during, and after. Tell others what nutrition you are going to carry and how you plan to run your route well in advance. Take the time to encourage others and help in anyway you can. Also feel free to post your blogs and use the logo is you would like.
4. Be Safe – I know…repeat…but I plan on a Second Annual if this one goes well and want all of you here to experience the “fun” again.
5. No Whining – do I need to say more?
6. Treat Yourself – Yes this is a rule. After your run take a moment to buy yourself a “treat” for your accomplishments. I cannot give out medals so this will be your medal. Please also take a picture and post on the Facebook page.
7. Have Fun – This should be a great event so please remember to smile, say hello to others, and enjoy the running. You will be surprised if you stay positive how much fun a cold winter run can become. If the run becomes not as much fun please look back to Rule #5.
As you can see this is a bare-bones setup but it should be an absolutely blast!!! If I can help anyone in anyway please contact me at 970-420-2114 or email@example.com.
Run Happy Everyone!!! Shannon.
Welcome back to another edition of the News Roundup at The Run Commuter! I didn’t think we’d have another edition so soon, but I was happily surprised to see a few news alerts hit my inbox this past week.
Today’s articles come from bloggers around North America and they’re all writing about one thing in common – How to run commute. Enjoy!
How to Beat Westside Traffic: Run Home
LOS ANGELES, Cal. – Excluding weekend long runs, I’m not a morning runner. I could be if I didn’t go to bed so late.
Still, I’m not about to change my habits since running after work fits my schedule. Working out between 5-8 is a big improvement over my old habits. When I first started working out regularly 3 years ago, I rarely made it to the gym before 10. That worked for me then too. I was was a super self conscious newbie uncomfortable about working out in front of other people. So, working out in a nearly empty gym was just what I wanted.
Now, I’m used to running on weekday evenings. In the spring and summer, getting in my post-work run in is not a problem. I look forward to it during the day. I don’t mind running at dusk or in the dark. In the winter and fall my motivation wanes when it’s very dark at 5 or 6. At least it’s not very cold here. It’s worse when I leave work around 6, have a 45 minute commute (if lucky) and don’t get a run in until after 7. In January, that feels late.
One way I’ve found to deal with the winter running is the run commute. I’ve seen other bloggers talk about running to work (Runner’s Kitchen). I could do that, but I prefer the run home. It fits with my evening running habits. Plus, it’s logistically easier and the route is almost all downhill.
Rather than post a single, interesting run commuting-related news bit every once in a while, I’ve decided to try posting a few at once in a digest format. The articles and stories may come from newspapers, websites, individual blogs, or even buzz from online running forums, so if you know of any good stuff out there, let us know by emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org and it may show up in a future edition of the News Roundup.
Today’s edition is focused on the loooooong run commute…
Land of 10,000 Stories: Man parks car, runs 31 miles to work
RIVER FALLS, Wis. – Thirty-one rush-hour-miles stand between the country home near River Falls, Wisconsin and the Eagan, Minnesota offices of Thomson Reuters.
On his last day before retirement, Jim Simonet vowed he would drive those 31 miles no more. Then he ran to work instead.
“I don’t enjoy traffic, no,” says Simonet, who had been commuting from River Falls to his job at Thomson Reuters for 36 years.
But his eight-hour run in bone-chilling weather was no traffic avoidance maneuver. Simonet had a point to make about his post-retirement years: “Life doesn’t quit when you retire. To me it’s just a chance to go on to the next excellent adventure.”
Note: You should really watch the video as it briefly documents his whole run. This guy is inspiring and awesome!