Run Commuting Story Roundup – April 2017

It’s the end of April and it is time for another edition of the Run Commuting Story Roundup! There seems to have been an increase in articles about lately, and while it’s probably tied to warmer temperatures (people more likely to run) we like to think it’s because run commuting is becoming more popular.

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.

(more…)

Come meet the TRC crew at the Kirkwood Spring Fling 5K!

Attention Atlanta-area runners and run commuters: The TRC team will be at this year’s Kirkwood Spring Fling 5K on Saturday, May 14th!

Not only will several of us be racing the 5K, we’ll also be emceeing parts of the event with our friend Jim Hodgson of The Atlanta Banana.

Sign up for the race and stop by our booth afterwards to say hi to Kyle, Hall, Meghann, and Josh, as we answer your questions and help you learn more about run commuting and active transportation. We’ll have a variety of running backpacks that you can try out as well, including a couple women-specific packs.

We hope to see you there!

Click here to register!

2016 International Run Commuter Survey

The survey is now closed.

Thank you to everyone who participated! Stay tuned for the results…

Welcome to our 2016 International Run Commuter Survey!

Your responses will help the world have a better idea of how many run commuters there are out there, where they run, what gear they use, and how long they’ve been running. Since this is our second survey (the first was in 2014 and you can read about it here) we’re excited to see not only what has changed since we last collected data, but also what trends are emerging from run commuting as a whole.

It doesn’t matter if you stopped run commuting last year, are considering starting, or you are a life-long run commuter, please take the survey and share it wherever you can!

The survey is available in three languages this year! Thanks to Nick Pedneault we have a French version, and the super-cool people at Corridaamiga created a Portuguese version! If you would like to help with the survey by translating it into another language, please send an email to info@theruncommuter.com and let us know. 

 

English Version

Version française

Versão Português

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. 

—————————————————–

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.

—————————————————————————————-

The New Run Commuters Submission Form

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

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

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! 

———————————————- 

Runner Basics

image

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.

image_1

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!”

———————————————- 

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

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

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.

0
Responses
0
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.

——————————————————————————————————————

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.

——————————————————————————————————————

 

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”.
 
 
 
 
—————————————————————————————————–
 
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+00:00October 16th, 2014|Categories: People, General, News|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+00:00August 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.

—————————————–

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+00:00May 15th, 2014|Categories: General, News|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment