Run Commuting Story Roundup – February 17, 2017

Here’s a quick roundup of interesting run commuting stories I found recently. I’ll try and do a similar post monthly if enough content can be found.

If you have written a post about run commuting on your blog, or have read a news article or post about run commuting that you want us to know about, send us an email and it may show up in a future Run Commuting Story Roundup.

 


 

Stories from the run commute: “I bring snowshoes on my Montreal route”

How 7 Busy Washingtonians Find Time to Train for Marathons

Cost Analysis of Run Commuting – Do I Save Money Jan 2-6

I Guess I’m Gonna Have To Run Commute Today

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The New Run Commuters – February 2016

Efficiency is the watchword for Julien Delange, our first run commuter profile for 2016. Running to and from his workplace in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Julien favours maximalist shoes, and structures his run commuting — in both principles and pragmatics — for greatest efficiency. In his profile, Julien also highlights the positive environmental, financial and training benefits of running to work. With his routine sorted, Julien run commutes high-mileage weeks as training for the trail races he enters. His commitment to leaving the car at home (“the car is simply not an option during the week“) is an inspiration to all run commuters. As if all this wasn’t enough, Julien maintains an active blog, complete with his own posts on run commuting – check it out after you read his profile! 

As always, if you are interested in being featured in The New Run Commuters, contact us using the form at the end of this post. The only criteria we have is that you started run commuting sometime in the last year or so. 

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Runner Basics

  • Name: Julien Delange

  • Age: 32

  • City/State: Pittsburgh, PA

  • Profession/Employer: Researcher in Computer Science

  • Number of years running: 7

  • Number of races you participate in a year: stopped counting (list on my blog, here

  • Do you prefer road or trail? Definitely trails. With a weekly mileage between 50 and 120 miles, long runs on flat and paved roads increase the likelihood to get an injury, so I prefer to stay on trails.

New Run Commuter Julien Delange

Run Commuting Gear

  • Backpack: I mostly use two backpacks: the Ultraspire Ultraviz Spry when I do not have to bring anything or REI Stoke 9 when I take clothes or food. 

  • Shoes: Hoka Huaka were the best! Unfortunately, Hoka One One discontinued them and my attempt to convince them to keep these shoes in their catalog was a miserable failure. So, I just use any Hoka One One shoe (special kudos to the Stinson Lite) 

  • Lights: A Black Diamond Revolt headlamp that I can charge on a mini-USB port. Very useful during winter, when days are short and it is dark when you leave home and come back at night: you can charge it at work when you arrive in the morning at work, so that you are sure you have enough batteries for both trips.

  • Hydration: I used to take a bottle, but over the last year my body has become used to commuting without drinking. Otherwise, when running more than 20 miles, I use a Nathan backpack with a bladder.

  • Clothing: Nothing special or fancy: a pair of shorts, a tech t-shirt, some tech socks (Smartwool or Injini) and that’s about it. I also have a protective shell (for when it rains), headband (to protect my ears from freezing during winter). It is useless to overdress: after 10 minutes, my body is warm enough to run under the snow. And even having Raynaud syndrome that reduces blood flow in my extremities, I keep clothing as minimal as possible. The most difficult part is remembering to keep going for the first 10 minutes when it’s freezing cold outside! 

  • Outerwear: Salomon Agile ½ Zip and Salomon Trail Runner Warm LS Zip Tee. Only when it is really cold!

  • Headgear: A hat when it is really hot, but otherwise, nothing. I also always wear protective goggles or sunglasses when going on trails – to protect my eyes from potential obstacles.

On Run Commuting

Why did you decide to start run commuting?

Efficiency, sustainability, and financial reasons. Two years ago, I was taking my car to go to work (one hour per day), running one hour a day, and going to the gym. All these activities took two to three hours every day.

It was not time-efficient. I decided to run to work (45 min. each way) so that I could have more time to do other things I enjoy (reading, programming, playing, meeting friends!) and save money (no gas or parking). In addition, I would not be increasing the pollution (fumes and noise) in my community. I realized there were only benefits and suddenly became a run commuter the morning after.

How often do you run commute?

Every day! And I still do my long runs during the weekend :-)

I am very lucky that we have a shower at work: I bring soap, clean clothes and towels every two weeks to work, so that I do not have to carry them in my backpack.

How far is your commute?

The commute is between 4.5 (shortest route) to 10 miles (scenic view along a river). I have many routes I can take, so that I can adapt my commute according to my training needs (elevation, distance, mileage, etc.) I usually run between 10 to 13 miles a day with some days at more than 20 (when training for very long distances). It really is a fantastic way to train!

The sun rising over the river during Julien’s run to work

Do you pack or buy a lunch?

I already have all my lunches prepared at work. Every two or three weeks, I drop a lot of clothes and packaged food. I eat the same thing almost every day: NuGo bars for snack and Tasty Bite Madras Lentils packages for lunches. Tasty Bites are easy to prepare (one minute in a microwave), are acceptable from a nutrition point of view (has some carbs, protein, etc.). It is very efficient from both time and financial perspectives. And, sometimes, I still go out for lunch with some colleagues.

What do you like most about run commuting?

This is a very efficient way to train: you can adapt your route according to what you really need to do (hill repeats, fartleks, etc.) and give yourself extra time for other activities. This is actually the best way I have found to train for long distances without impacting my social life too much. Also, you cannot miss a run!

Another underrated aspect is the predictability. Drive-commute times depend on many variables (traffic, issues with your car, etc.) and you do not have control over them. By running and choosing your route, you know exactly how long it is going to take to go to work.

But overall, I just do not like driving! To me, running is more natural than driving and the idea of sitting in traffic for hours is just not appealing. I prefer to be outside enjoying nature.

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

Actually, there are some people that recently started commuting in Pittsburgh (special kudos to Alyssa and Sarah!). Pittsburgh is becoming more biker and runner friendly. We now have bike lanes, some dedicated fitness events for bikers and runners, and plenty of local running groups. The biggest running group in the city (Steel City Road Runner) started 3 or 4 years ago and today has more than 2000 members. Only a few of us run to work, but more people are getting involved and being active, this is what matters!

Beyond the decision to run to work, what matters to me is how we, as a society, use our resources (time, land, money, etc). Today, more than 76% of the US population go to work alone in their cars. In 2012, less than 3% of the population walked to work. Transportation impacts so many aspects of our community: schedule (time to commute and stay in traffic), health (pollution, noise, risks related to inactivity), even architecture (organization of the city with more roads). Choosing the least efficient solutions has a huge impact: does it make sense to take our car to work for a couple of miles when we can just bike/walk/run there? Especially considering the impact of the lack of activity in our developed societies.

Run commuting is just a means to change the way we usually commute, and there are other alternatives if you would prefer not to run (bike, public transportation, carpool, etc.), It is a good thing to see that some cities (such as Pittsburgh) are developing and promoting other ways of commuting.

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

I only stop running to work when I am injured. In that case, I commute either by bike or (last resort) bus. The car is simply not an option during the week.

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

Start easy and do it progressively. It takes a while to build the endurance to commute every day, but it is very convenient. Have fun, enjoy it. Stop half way to the pub, meet some friends, grab a beer. (re)Discover your city, its trails, and just have fun!

Anything else that you would like to include?

I maintain a blog about running and had several articles on run commuting. Readers might be interested by the introduction to run commuting! http://julien.gunnm.org/2015/02/05/running-as-a-transportation-alternative-the-introductory-guide/

Interested in being featured on The New Run Commuters? Submit your info in the form below and we’ll send you more details.

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The New Run Commuters Submission Form

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

Meb for Mortals: A Run Commuter Book Review

In his new book, Meb for Mortals: How to Run, Think, and Eat like a Champion Marathoner, Meb Keflezighi, three-time Olympic medalist and winner of both the 2009 NYC and 2014 Boston Marathons, tells us in his introduction that he is ‘not the most talented guy.’ I scoffed aloud when I read it.

It was an ugly sound, and I was embarrassed I’d done it. But I kept reading. I ran Atlanta’s AJC Peachtree Road Race with him last year.  Ok, so maybe not with him, but we were both running the race at the same time. Actually, not even that, if you want to be technical about it. Due to the number of start waves needed to accommodate the more than 60,000 runners, he had not yet crossed the starting line as I was finishing. He began at the back as part of a fundraising challenge. However, as deflating as is to be effortlessly passed when I am sucking wind, I looked for him, listened for his entourage to be coming behind me shouting ‘Make way!’ or whatever it is they yelled.

I really hoped he’d pass me. One runner said, “It was like you’re on (Ga.) 400 going 55 and he’s doing 95.” [sic]. That would have been a sight to see; a once-in-a-lifetime running memory.

Meb is infinitely more talented than I am, and after reading this book, what is basically his training diary, I can see how he got that way. The book is divided into nine chapters, and in every one you see just how hard this guy works to be a champion.

Meb states that his game is mostly mental: good goals, commitment, and hard work. The book opens by detailing how to set good goals. This chapter, Think Like Meb, was one of my favorites. Even if you are running purely for enjoyment, or as a much-loathed, but necessary, daily dose of cardiovascular exercise, you set goals for your run – probably time or distance. Wouldn’t you like to know how to set better goals for yourself though? Especially if it increases your enjoyment of your run by making them easier or at least less painful? Maybe learning to set better, more attainable running goals will carry over into other areas of life as well.

The next 8 chapters describe exactly how Meb treats his body to get it to run the way it does: fueling and hydrating, stretching, sleeping, form drills, even recovery. It’s all here. For the form drills, stretches, and strengthening sections there are photographs of Meb doing the movements to help make sure we’re doing it correctly. They are not fancy glossy photos, just simple, monochromatic illustrations of what we should be doing.

My second favorite chapter was Race Like Meb. I don’t run a lot of races, mostly because they cost a lot of money, but I loved reading about how he prepares for a race. This is one of the more tip-heavy chapters with lots of little boxes that contain bits of information. Broken into sections like that, it is easy to read and has loads of interesting ideas for clever racing, even – no joke – how to Lube Like Meb, though it isn’t actually called that. Mixing a GU into a bottle of water or Gatorade to make the GU easier to consume while running is a smart tip. I will be trying that one, because GUs are helpful, but revolting. I might have gone my whole life without thinking of or hearing about otherwise. He also explains how to drink while running fast. I am not fast, but learning to drink while breathing like a ferocious, sweat-flinging beast is pretty much the same thing, I think.

Meb’s tone throughout the book is conversational, as though he is standing next to you (I’m pretty sure he’s not much of a sitter.) He chats and carries on, which makes this book very easy and enjoyable to read. Though, in my mind’s eye, he is probably chatting while stretching, doing core exercises on one of those big exercise balls, like in the Strengthen Like Meb chapter. Meb says that he feels like he’s 80 years old the day after a marathon. It’s little human asides like that which made me believe Meb truly does work incredibly hard, and thereby makes his advice easier to hear.

If you wanted to, if you had the time and money, you could absolutely use this book as a manual to become one hell of a runner, at least way better than all your friends. But even if your running goals and means are simpler, this easy-to-read and apply book will help you learn to make your body move more efficiently and hurt less after a long or hard(er) run, and maybe, just maybe, inspire you to set bigger goals for yourself next time.

Running Gear Fit to Face a Canadian Winter

We’re excited to introduce a new contributor to the The Run Commuter! Nick Pedneault joins us from Ottawa, Canada and will be writing about running in harsh winter conditions up north, as well as sharing tips, advice, and gear reviews from which all run commuters, in any climate, can benefit. Welcome to TRC, Nick!   

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The Run Commuter, Cold Weather Running, Boston Marathon, Canadian Runners, Nick Pedneault, Polar Ninja

Nick after a typical Canadian winter run

My name is Nicolas Pedneault, and I am a run commuter from the Ottawa area, Canada. I have been run commuting for 6 years now, and I am planning on doing so for as long as I can. Run commuting for me was the result of many factors: I wanted to keep doing sports like I used to before I was married and had kids, but without neglecting family life; I did not have a parking spot at work; and I wanted a solution to get to work which was valid year round. One year, I cycled to work in the winter; in May, my bike was as good as junk because of the salt they use to de-ice roads. Public transit was a solution, but there is not much sports involved in taking the bus. To make matters worse, OC Transpo – the Ottawa public transport company – went on a 2-month long strike in 2009. That was the last straw for me: I started running to get to and from work.

My total daily commute is between 16 and 24 kilometres (10-15 miles), every day of the week. Running in Ottawa year-round means facing temperatures as high as 36ºC (97ºF) and as low as -35ºC (-31ºF). Consequently, it requires a wide variety of gear to face the elements.

Running year-round in Ottawa means running through some pretty harsh weather – snowstorms, freezing rain, blistering cold, tornados, etc. However, in the present post, I will stick to the blistering cold, describing the gear I use to run at temperatures between -30 ºC and -35ºC (-22 ºF and -31ºF). I have no preferences in terms of brands; consequently, the pictures included in this post and the brands are mentioned for general information purposes only. However, the brands mentioned are the ones I use.

Feet

To prevent my feet from freezing, I combine a pair of thin liner socks (Wigwam Ultimate Liner Pro) with a pair of heavier merino wool socks (Great Canadian sox company super-wool hiker GX socks). Although I wear 2 pairs of socks, it all fits nicely in my normal running shoes. For winter, I use standard trail runners (either Saucony Peregrine or Brooks Cascadia). I know speciality shoes are now available for cold running (for example, Salomon SnoCross CS), but I have yet to venture on that road since outside winter, these are of no use.

Legs

In that order, I wear a pair of thermal tights (MEC Mercury tights), a pair of running shorts on top of the tights and a pair of very generic wind pants (MEC Flux pants). I experimented once during a winter marathon (Ottawa Winterman, February 2013, -29ºC / -20ºF) without the shorts between the 2 layers; I ended up having to stick my mitts in my pants to warm up my manhood. Suffice to say that I highly recommend wearing shorts over the tights in winter. In my backpack, I also carry an extra pair of wind pants which are a size larger than the first one; if it gets really windy or suddenly colder than expected, I can throw them on over everything else.

Outdoor Research Enchainment Jacket

Outdoor Research Enchainment Jacket

Top

As always, I make sure to use many layers. My base layer is a 150-weight merino wool long sleeve shirt. My second layer is a 150-weight merino wool t-shirt. Over time, I found this combination of merino wool garment to be the best in terms of weight and sweat absorption. My third layer is either an old long sleeve polar fleece shirt or a Polartec power dry hoody with thumb holes (MEC T3 hoodie). The principle behind this combination of layers is pretty simple: the natural fibre near my skin is less susceptible to develop bad odours than the synthetic fibres. My final layer is a soft shell jacket with a hood (Patagonia Ascensionist or Outdoor Research Enchainment.) In cold weather, I prefer soft shells to hard shells because they are much better at letting perspiration out.

Hands

Mitts. No gloves. Just mitts. Again, I use a small pair of mitt (hand knitted by my wife’s aunt) and a bigger one on top of it (MEC overlord mitts.)

Watch

One day, it was so cold, my watch display totally froze. To avoid that, I now wear it on top of my jacket at the wrist, and I throw the bottom portion of my mitt over the watch. If you are doing intervals, it is a bit annoying to have to push your mitt up to press the buttons, but it is far less annoying than a frozen watch.

Sonic Outdoor Research Balaclava

Sonic Outdoor Research Balaclava

Head

The next piece of kit is by far the most important one for me, and this time, the brand is important. My Sonic Outdoor Research Balaclava allows me to stay warm while being able to breathe properly although the air is very cold. Many years ago, I was running with a small scarf over my mouth. Over time, it would get wet and I would eventually auto-waterboard myself from time to time. This was awful, and I looked for a balaclava that would allow me to breathe while keeping me warm. The Sonic has a special screen in front of the mouth that never freezes. It is also far away enough from my mouth to create a warm up chamber just in front of it. Because of that, I end up breathing air which is a few degrees warmer than the ambient one. Since I tend to suffer from performance induced asthma in the winter, these few degrees mean the difference between coughing all day or not at all. Over it, I will normally use a Buff around my neck, and another one over my head. For good measure, I also carry a third safety Buff in my backpack, just in case.

Backpack

I currently use a Deuter Race X backpack. It is a bit small (12 litres or 730 cubic inches), but for a bag that cost me CAD$54, I think it is near perfect. I always carry a safety jacket in it (MEC Uplink jacket with hood), which I can throw on top of everything if get too cold or if I suddenly have to stop running. As mentioned above, I also carry in it an oversized pair of wind pants, an extra Buff, my lunch and some clothes. A point worth mentioning: in winter, the simple fact of having a bag on your back will keep you warmer as it offers an additional layer of insulation.

That’s it! You’re ready to run in the midst of the Canadian winter or the polar vertex. Now, I must be honest: running in these temperatures is never that great, but I have found that these somewhat miserable runs made all summer runs great no matter what afterwards.

The Run Commuter, Cold Weather Running, Boston Marathon, Canadian Runners, Nick Pedneault

Finishing the 2014 Boston Marathon

By | 2016-10-22T20:26:38+00:00 April 30th, 2014|Categories: Gear, General|Tags: , , , , , , , |6 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

Review: New Balance 730 Shoes

I have been using New Balance MR10’s over the last year and love them.  However, there is one thing I don’t like about them – how fast the sole wears out.  A New Balance employee at my local store told me that they should be replaced after 250 miles.  I was already at 450, the heels and soles were worn down, and my toes and feet were starting to really feel the ground.  250 sounds like the right replacement mileage, but running 1000+ miles a year would require me to buy 4 or more pairs of these per year at $100 a pop.  So, I was excited to hear about the thicker sole and similar style of the New Balance 730’s  and ordered a pair from Running Warehouse to try out.

The New Balance 730’s are the perfect mix of minimal shoe:  They’re light, breathable, roomy, durable, inexpensive, have more cushioning than a traditional minimal, and have a small heel-toe drop.  Here’s how they ran:

Initial Run (4.75 miles)

– Firm, stiff soles.  They became comfortably flexible after 2 miles into my run.

– Lightweight.  7.3 oz.

– Breathable.  I could feel wind blowing through the shoe.

– Ample toebox.  I could easily splay my toes and still not touch either side.

– My calves were sore after the initial run.  With just a slight change in heel-toe drop – from 4mm in the New Balance MR10’s to the 3mm drop of the 730’s – I could feel the difference afterwards.  That’s why we recommend a slow transition from traditional to minimal shoes.  No one wants to suffer an unnecessary injury that will keep you from running…

Adjustment Phase (2 Days)

Due to the calf stiffness I was experiencing, I decided to wear the shoes around for a couple of days so my legs could get used to them while walking.  This worked surprisingly well and I was soon ready to crank out some more running miles.

Additional Mileage (16.25 miles)

– Soles are solid (though flexible) – not a lot of shock absorption.

– Tongue drifts to the sides under the laces.  There is no lace guide on the tongue, which would help to hold it in place.

– A lot of ground feel.  I tried them out on some small-medium gravel and you can definitely feel it on your feet.  I was also surprised I could feel the smooth, rounded edges of paver stones on the sidewalk.

No lace guide on tongue…

…leads to some drifting after a few miles


So, should you buy them?

Yes – but only if you are already comfortable with a minimal heel-toe drop, or you have some time to get used to them in training.  They’re ridiculously inexpensive compared to similar shoes of it’s kind (as low as $50 a pair!) and you’ll get a fair amount more mileage out of them, too.

Note: These shoes were purchased for use by the author.

 

By | 2016-10-22T20:26:47+00:00 November 30th, 2012|Categories: Gear, General|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

TalkJogRun Interview with The Run Commuter

On Monday, Kyle and I sat down for a chat with Caitlin Seick of WalkJogRun, a popular running route finding and planning website, and talked all about run commuting. WalkJogRun’s iPad app recently  hit #7 in the health and fitness category, so check it out now, hipster, so you can say you knew all about it before it was #1. Blog post with audio/podcast below.

Article:  Running To Work – WalkBlogRun

Run Commuting in Anchorage, Alaska

Greetings fellow run commuters (and wannabe run commuters)! I’m so happy that Josh asked me to contribute to this blog, writing about my own experiences with run commuting, and how things are a bit different for me, being that I live in Alaska.

I first started run commuting early this spring, so I’ve been doing it for several months now. One of the main reasons why I started was simply to get in some more miles while training for the Mayor’s Midnight Sun Marathon last month here in Anchorage. Besides work, I have a wife and 2 kids at home, so it’s not always easy to find time to go for a run. During the week, that typically means running either early in the morning or late at night. I’ve always been more of a morning person anyways, so getting up early and running to work made sense to me. (more…)

By | 2016-10-22T20:27:00+00:00 July 14th, 2011|Categories: General|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

Hot Running: Heat, Humidity and Dew Point

There is a great article in Running Times this month called It’s Not the Heat, Nor the Humidity.  You can’t read it online, but the ladies over at The Bitchy Runners have summarized it and created a replica of the dew point chart that you should check out.

I incorporate race training into my run commute.  It’s not that exciting, but it can be pretty intense based on which route I am running at the time (hills vs. flat).   Sometimes during the summer, it REALLY sucks the life out of me; almost to the point where I am worthless the rest of the day.  I always chalked it up to humidity, but after reading the RT article, I realized that what I should really be keeping an eye on is the dreaded dew point. (more…)

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