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

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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.

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    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 | 2018-02-27T15:01:13+00:00 May 13th, 2014|Categories: General, News, People|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

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    About the Author:

    Josh
    Editor-in-Chief of The Run Commuter by night, paralegal by day. Father of three boys. Husband to the world's greatest bicycle advocate. Avid runner. Lover of beer and urban gardening. Can be found running with a backpack around the streets of Atlanta, Georgia. Contact Josh at info@theruncommuter.com

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