I once tried in vain to convince a friend she could easily, speedily ride her bike to work, only to be constantly rebuffed that it was too dangerous, that she was easy prey for the ne’er-do-wells en route to her office. But I had her speak with some female friends, also bicyclists, who ride everywhere they can, for all reasons. It was effective and much more convincing.

Run commuting, I fear, might be something of a sausage party. This is based on exchanges with female friends. They express great reservation, mostly about their hair, make-up, hygiene: nothing about the challenge of running, to which they admit they are more than equal. They claim they could never run commute. But we have had a number of female readers comment and graciously share their wisdom, so we are going to pool these and put them out for you! We won’t strive to convince anyone they can do it; we will endeavor to show them, albeit by proxy.

This one is the most recent, from Katie, across the Atlantic in the United Kingdom. She started running to fill a desire and perfectly fine-tuned her routine. Where appropriate or necessary, I have added clarifying notations for the Yanks.

Thanks for a fantastic site, it inspired me to try run commuting! I run barefoot 4km

[just under 2.5 miles] each way to and from work now. I’m a pretty chubby woman in my early 40s, and have been doing this (building up the frequency) for about 18 months. I’ve *always* wanted to be a runner, but shin splints and bunions and unfitness stopped me in the past. Barefoot turned out to be the key for me. I no longer have bunion pain or shin splints. Touch wood [knock on wood], but I haven’t had any joint or muscle injuries so far.

On Monday mornings I walk in, pushing a pram [cart] converted into a cargo carrier (BOB stroller cargo conversion kit) filled with a week’s worth of  work clothes, brekkies [breakfasts], towels, etc. I bring it home, full of dirty washing, on Friday nights, and run unencumbered for the rest of the week. It took me a little while to find my routine, but now I love it.  

I’m a very very slow runner! But gradually improving. Currently the 4km trip takes me 30 mins. I get some concerned looks from passers by, worried that I’ll step on glass. But it hardly ever happens.  Occasionally I’ll get splinters, and just once or twice a little bit of glass. But surprisingly,  it’s no major drama at all. There’s a tiny bit of tenderness for a day or two, and then the foreign object works its way out very quickly, and is all healed up. It’s never been enough to even stop me from running the next day.

We found especially ingenious her notion of hauling supplies in and out via cart; however, what I really took away is that Katie is not unlike the honey badger. Her shins hurt so she shucked her shoes. She is not worried about glass — “[I]t hardly ever happens” — and just lets the interloper take care of itself. Katie’s trek, to me, is fitting for women and men alike: run commuting is readily managed. Hell, even shards of glass are as fluff. Incredible.

Any other women out there care to share their gender-specific advice, adventures, or wisdom? Drop us a line! We will be sharing more of such tidbits over the next week.