New Features on TRC

It’s been a busy (and ridiculously hot) summer this year, and while we’ve been a bit short on reviews, tips, and stories about run commuting lately, we want to show you a couple of new features we’ve added to the site in case you missed them. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on the Spartan Race, a writeup on the newest version of a running pack designed by an Atlanta college student, and food transportation options.

Running Backpack Roundup

In the market for a new running backpack, but not sure which one is right for you? The Running Backpack Roundup will help you find your perfect pack!

The Roundup includes all the features in a pack that are important for run commuters: waist and sternum straps, volume, compression, rain cover, and more. We will continue to add packs to the list as we come across them and review them when we can. In the future, we’ll roll out a user-based rating system, so you’ll be able sort the table and find out which packs are user favorites and which ones to avoid.

Updated Featured Image

  

Twitter Hashtag Stream

Look to the sidebar on the right of your screen and you’ll see a new Twitter stream. Add the hashtag #runcommute to your run commuting tweets and join many others around the world talking about running to work and all the adventures that come from choosing to avoid a lifestyle of traffic jams on the roadway.

 RunCommute Hashtag Stream Snapshot

Become a Run Commuter

While the content of this topic isn’t new, the way it is accessed on the website has changed to make it simpler for newcomers to quickly and easily access the core posts on run commuting. 

Become a run commuter

That’s all we have for now. Let us know if there are any other features, stories, or additions you’d like to see on The Run Commuter! Email us at info@theruncommuter.com.

By |2016-10-22T20:26:44-04:00July 24th, 2013|Categories: News, General|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

On everyone’s minds

Two weeks ago, I got three comments while running home from work. It’s not unusual: friends passing might hail hello; would-be wits and jerks in general offer more inflammatory fare, often from a passing car’s window. One of the comments that day came from an addled homeless lady sitting spread-eagle in the middle of the sidewalk outside a warehouse down my street: “Did you just get off a fire engine?” she squawked. No, ma’am, I assure you: I did not. I am to firemen what Steve Rogers, pre-Super Soldier Serum, is to Captain America.

The other two comments were the same, hurled heartily from speeding vehicles on North Avenue, a east-west artery of rolling hills, several lanes, and one speed: fast. It was while I was huffing up said hills that the aforementioned comments came, both of them, “Go, Boston!”

Scrotum graffiti is an eyesore, but hearts are welcome.

Scrotum graffiti is an eyesore, but hearts are welcome.

Then I spied this on a viaduct not much further on that passes over North Avenue, and pulled up short to consider. That structure carries on its shoulders the BeltLine Eastside Trail, a spiffed-up rail-trail that is Atlanta’s shiny new thing, universally adored by the city’s yuppies (and, for some reason, parents who think such a busy multi-use trail is an ideal environment for their kids to learn to bicycle). On one side of the viaduct, Murder Kroger, a grocery store that perfectly ties together all qualities and characters of North Avenue’s parallel thoroughfare, Ponce de Leon Avenue. On the other side, the Masquerade, a music venue-nee-cotton mill outside which suburban teens, greasers, Nth generation punks, emo kids, goths, and Hall queue to see their favorite bands.

One side of the viaduct has a colorful, well-crafted mural touting the BeltLine. This side, though, is a scratch pad for aspiring taggers, their handles like Crass, Squeak, Squeal, Queequeg, and Hall — seldom, if ever, seen again — snippets of bad teen poetry and the proclamations of self-fancied philosophers. Quite the contrast.

But the area is changing; North Avenue is changing. Developments like Ponce City Market, Historic 4th Ward Park, and the BeltLine are gradually, inexorably altering the areas in which they are situated. I saw Tuesday morning bags of trash piled high along that side of the viaduct that formerly served as taggers’ collective scratch pad. Weeds were pulled. Dirt was swept away. And the wall was painted that Eastern Bloc gray-blue color that is rolled over all permutations of “Queequeg was here,” and denotes that graffiti was there.

IMG_7519

Except this. The entire length of the wall: gray-blue, then, bam: preserved with painstaking care, “Boston On My Mind” remained. And I hope it remains there for a long, long while. Community immersion is a benefit of run commuting, and running in general. Similarly, the marathon has been called the most democratic of sporting events, as it offers the least barrier between spectators and athletes, a minimum separation between those who cheer and those cheered on — including the former’s entrance to that athletic endeavor.

Perhaps drivers that day spied this, inspiring them to call, “Go, Boston!” as I huffed over those hills, rather than something derogatory or deflating, or nothing at all. I enjoy when strangers shout encouragement. I enjoy that they engaged me, as a member of the neighborhood, as a fellow citizen and person, despite the odds that we will never know one another or even again cross paths.

Perhaps passersby of all kinds, everyone, will take note, keep those barriers down, and keep the literal and figurative Boston on their minds and in their hearts.

By |2016-10-22T20:26:45-04:00May 1st, 2013|Categories: News, General|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Mike: family man, marathon man

DeKalb Avenue is off my typical run commute route, but the morning was foggy and DeKalb offers a wonderful view of the skyline’s sentinels huddled in their wooly blankets. It also allowed me to meet Mike, another run commuter!

run commuter

Two miles out, two miles home daily = 20 miles during the work week.

I spied Mike’s florescent orange shirt from several blocks back and hot-heeled it after him, grabbing for my camera. I caught him at Georgia State University’s campus, and we huffed out a bit of exchange over the next two blocks.

Mike shared that he started run commuting about two or three months ago, while training for the March 17, 2013, Georgia Marathon. His kids’ needs and schedules sometimes precludes longer runs prior to or following work, so he began running two miles to the train station in the morning, and two miles home from it after work. That round-trip train ride also affords Mike 45 minutes in which to read, to his delight. Mike’s family lately scaled back to being a one-car family; this multi-modal run commute helps make that easier. It is something with which Josh’s family has experience, having gone from one car to being car-free (eventually going back to one car, after Ben joined their family). But that is how Josh came to run commuting, too.

Running light -- and bright! -- though a hip or waist strap would reduce bag sway.

Running light — and bright! — though a hip or waist strap would reduce bag sway.

Mike and I had about as many minutes as blocks in which to speak before our paths parted, so I neglected to advise him about improvising a waist strap. As you can see, above, his backpack lacks that feature; I could see from blocks away that it changed his form significantly, and swayed visibly back and forth. Many options to allay this: a bungee cord, preferably one of the flat kind; some string; a web belt, of the Army surplus type; an old bike tire: limitless options.

Mike, if you read this and would like to add anything, or more likely, if I botched some info, comment or contact us! The question we all have: what was your time in the marathon??

By |2016-10-22T20:26:45-04:00April 30th, 2013|Categories: News, General|Tags: , , , , , |2 Comments

FAQs, an infographic, AND a contest

We just finished the run commuting FAQs page, so stop by and check it out.  If you have a question you want answered, use the “Submit a Question” form on that page.  We’ll include your first name and location for any questions you submit, along with the answer.

Contest Details:  

Here’s a chance to win a pair of Mizuno Wave Enigma 2’s for you and your partner from our friends at runningshoes.com.

Who’s your running Valentine? Tell us why you love him or her!

Let your running valentine be anyone special to you—a husband, a mother, a best friend—someone who brings joy and color into your world; the person who makes you smile on a rainy day. Share your story about them, gain some good vibes, and potentially pick up some free Mizuno shoes. Sounds like a win-win to us!

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be announced on Friday, Feb. 15. 

And finally, check out the change in race distance popularity over the last 10 years.  Crazy!

infographic-full

Source: http://runningshoes.com/running-boom

 

By |2016-10-22T20:26:46-04:00February 3rd, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Infographic: The Benefits of Carpooling

You’re probably already aware of the many, many ways in which run commuting is good for your physical and mental well-being, the environment, and others around you, but sometimes, you can’t run to work.  On those days, think ahead and try to carpool with coworkers.  What are the benefits of carpooling?  Take a look at this handy infographic from CarInsurance.org:

By |2018-02-27T15:01:11-04:00November 30th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

What has TRC been up to lately?

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.

Atlanta Streets Alive!

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.

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By |2016-10-22T20:26:47-04:00October 20th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on What has TRC been up to lately?

Run commuting in Canada!

 

Hello fellow run commuters.  My name is Jeff and I’m an engineer working in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  I’ve called Calgary home for the majority of my life and even though the weather isn’t always the best for running it’s the only place I can imagine calling home.  I’m also a new dad which is both incredibly rewarding and tiring all at the same time.  Our little girl Keira is 3 months old now and is the cutest little thing in the whole world (I’m slightly biased though)!

A few years back a friend of mine convinced me to do a triathlon with him so I decided I’d better figure out how to run further than just to the bus stop.  I hated it at first but now running has really become a way of life for me.  My wife and I run together and I’ve made a bunch of new friends from running.  I couldn’t imagine my life if I couldn’t run, so it seemed pretty natural to run as a way to get into work.  I work downtown and live about 8 km (5 miles) away from the office.

Cramming myself into a bus has never been something I enjoyed and I didn’t feel right about driving to work everyday when there are so many other good options.  My usual lunch time run is around the same distance as my commute, so I figured why not just run to work in the morning and that way I can avoid the bus and get my workout in first thing in the morning!

This view is much better from the running path than from the bus!

Calgary has a great path system that follows the river and goes straight into downtown making for a really nice run to work and some great scenery.  The majority of people using the paths are on bikes, but there are a few run commuters out as well which I was happy to see.  I still haven’t picked a favorite route, but I think that might be the best part about it.  There are so many different ways for me to get to work I’ll never get bored of it!

Fall is short but sweet in Calgary!

The river is amazing when the leaves are turning!

 

The days are getting shorter and the mornings are getting cold.  It’s only a matter of time before the snow starts to fly and the sub freezing temperatures set in.  It may sound strange especially to those of you living in warm climates, but after running through all four seasons I always look forward to running in the winter.  Maybe it’s the sense of accomplishment or maybe I’ve got a screw loose.  Either way I’ll be sure to share my thoughts on running in the cold and what’s worked for me in the past.  I’m also planning to do a post on cold weather running gear.  So that’s a bit about me and how I started run commuting.  I’m excited to be a part of something so positive and look forward to contributing.

By |2016-10-22T20:26:47-04:00September 25th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , , |4 Comments

Surgical Swagger: I Can Run – Part 2 SA, TX Run Commuter

One of the things I do now is work with children having cognitive skills deficiencies such as Autism and Asperger syndrome.  The center where I help out is perfectly placed at a manageable 7 miles one way.

I only mention I work with children because for me it has significance to my story.  Doing the type of work I did in the past; I only did it for the money – period.  There’s no kicking it around and I won’t kid myself or you by attempting to make it something it was not.  I had a longtime fear of never having enough money so I did everything I could to make sure I was never without it.  That ‘mindset’ cost me dearly in all aspects of my life especially where health was concerned.

I would never have run commute to any one of my past employments.  There were many times I didn’t even want to get out of bed much less contemplate the thought of getting up earlier and challenging myself physically to get there.  Even though I was very good at what I did, I did not enjoy it and the work relationship(s) were definitely one-sided.  Therefore, transitioning to do things which provided me real satisfaction, joy, excitement and which were in-line with a newly defined purpose of health and happiness drastically changed my outlook.  I began to contemplate taking on a run commute endeavor.

Firstly, it’s hot here – real hot.  The children I dedicate time to all come in the midafternoon and early evening so running in 100 degree temperatures was/is something I just have to deal with.  I wasn’t crazy about running in those temperatures and I wasn’t willing to destroy my body for the run commute.  I went ahead and bought a bus pass so if I felt like I was going to drop out I could at least haul my limping carcass onto an air conditioned transport for some of the way.

I have taken mass transit systems in the U.S., Japan, Korea, etc., but I honestly had never taken the bus in San Antonio.  I was excited to learn though.  I hopped on a bus just to see how to navigate my way through stops and pickups.  I was happy and rode with a smile.  I will comment that it seemed like I was pretty much the only one enthusiastic about riding the bus.  Even though I was beaming with excitement, none of my smiles were returned to me.  As a matter of fact, one guy’s look made me almost want to pin my lips over my teeth all together.

I didn’t even know how to exit the bus.  This fact was graciously, but aggressively, pointed out to me from a large burly fellow who yelled, “Push the door open!”  I told myself, “No sir, you’re not going to steal my sunshine” as I skipped off the bus steps.  Obviously, I am kidding there.  But, it really didn’t shift my mood all that much.  What I was doing was for me.  It was something I wanted to do so my want of doing so squashed any bad feelings which would have risen up and gotten out of control.  Besides, after being to a variety of places around the nation where people tend to interact with you more antagonistically, this guy with his sparkling attitude seemed rather charming.

I am a first time run commuter.  I mean sure I had been on long hikes, camping trips which required me to haul a lot of gear, ran with a hydration pack, – I won’t go into the entire minutia of activities.  But, I had never run to environment where I had to look presentable and then instead of relaxing, refueling and cleaning up, transition straight into performing a task.

So naturally my first time run commuting I over-packed and over-prepared.  I packed all the things I thought I might need: extra food, toothbrush, tooth paste, night lamp, extra socks, sunblock, water bottle, reading material, bus route maps, air tight food bags, dry clothes bags, wet clothes bags, and on and on.  I had an insane amount of stuff on top of the things I would actually need like my dress clothes, shoes, belt, lunch, snacks and drinks.  It was like I was going on a three day excursion! Needless to say, I stuffed all my items into an old dilapidated North Face backpack which I had modified (i.e. disassembled for makeshift parts).

Utah Gecko

The elastic side-mesh pockets were all stretched out and did not function anymore to hold items.  There is only one center holding area with its failing zipper system.  The center synch bungee on the back didn’t really do anything but roll the bottom of the backpack up away from my body.  There is no waist belt because I cut it away years ago to be used on something else which I cannot remember.  It does however, have a sweet Utah gecko patch from an old Moab trip, so that pretty much alone spits coolness and makes the bag a keeper.  Okay, maybe not, but it is what I have so I use it and I am grateful for it.

Am I getting a new pack?  Yes, eventually.  My outlook was/is I want to learn from the run commuter experience(s) so I get exactly what I really need.  I think this is important because only I know everything I really need on a daily basis.  There are the basics items you want to have with you of course.  I won’t go through the items I take/use right now but definitely check out the posts Josh’s Gear, Kyle’s Gear, and Sophie’s Gear for some great gear information and also the ‘How To Get Started’ section under the contributor’s block starting here.

“You don’t have to have everything all figured out.  Just get moving…”

By |2016-10-22T20:26:48-04:00August 31st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Surgical Swagger: I Can Run – Part 1: San Antonio, TX Run Commuter

My neurosurgeon and neurologist told me I would never be able to engage in physical sports again.  They poignantly added that the likely hood of even running would probably not be an option as well.  Though I had never really ‘run’ with any consistency in the past, my numbness and loss of motor control in my left leg seem to support what the doctors were preparing me for.

I didn’t believe it though.  I didn’t want to believe it.  It didn’t make sense to me.  How could a person or persons tell me I would probably never be able to run because of numbness and loss of lateral control at my knee when there are people running with prosthetics?

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By |2016-10-22T20:26:48-04:00August 24th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |0 Comments

The Run Commuter in Urban China Magazine

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?

By |2016-10-22T20:26:48-04:00August 16th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |3 Comments