Welcome back to another edition of the News Roundup at The Run Commuter!  I didn’t think we’d have another edition so soon, but I was happily surprised to see a few news alerts hit my inbox this past week.

Today’s articles come from bloggers around North America and they’re all writing about one thing in common – How to run commute.  Enjoy!

How to Beat Westside Traffic:  Run Home

LOS ANGELES, Cal. – Excluding weekend long runs, I’m not a morning runner. I could be if I didn’t go to bed so late.

Still, I’m not about to change my habits since running after work fits my schedule. Working out between 5-8 is a big improvement over my old habits. When I first started working out regularly 3 years ago, I rarely made it to the gym before 10. That worked for me then too. I was was a super self conscious newbie uncomfortable about working out in front of other people. So, working out in a nearly empty gym was just what I wanted.

Now, I’m used to running on weekday evenings. In the spring and summer, getting in my post-work run in is not a problem. I look forward to it during the day. I don’t mind running at dusk or in the dark. In the winter and fall my motivation wanes when it’s very dark at 5 or 6. At least it’s not very cold here. It’s worse when I leave work around 6, have a 45 minute commute (if lucky) and don’t get a run in until after 7. In January, that feels late.

One way I’ve found to deal with the winter running is the run commute. I’ve seen other bloggers talk about running to work (Runner’s Kitchen). I could do that, but I prefer the run home. It fits with my evening running habits. Plus, it’s logistically easier and the route is almost all downhill.

A How-To Guide to the Run Commute

BROOKLYN, New York – I’ve written about this before (March 2009, to be exact!), but with my recent move to Brooklyn, I’m going to revive the run commute. At my old place, I was only about 3 miles from work, so it usually made more sense to run early, shower at home, and then take the subway. Now, however, I’m about 7-8 miles from the office (depending on the route). Perfect for a morning run! That distance takes me about an hour to run whereas taking the subway would take about 45-50 minutes. By adding just a few more minutes, I can double task and get my run done! It’s not feasible to do this everyday (especially when the weather is bad), but I plan to try to run into work at least 1-2x per week. Here’s how it went down this morning:

6:30am – wake up, put on running clothes, gather my gear. Note: I’ve stopped drinking coffee before most morning runs, now I usually wait until afterward and it saves a lot of time. I may not be as peppy without coffee, but I usually get out the door much faster. I noticed that I dilly-dally too much when I sip coffee pre-run!

7:00am – hit the roads and run for about an hour. If I plan things out the day before, I’ll leave a change of clothes at my desk. However, this morning I had a doctor’s appointment, so I had to carry some clothes with me. I love using mini-drawstring backpacks for running. They key to preventing it from bouncing is to cross the straps over your shoulders – wearing it like a normal backpack will cause it to move around too much. You could also fasten the straps in the middle with a safety pin!

Note:  This article is from last summer, but it’s linked in the previous article and we didn’t want to let it slip by without being read by  TRC followers ;-)

Tips on Running to Work: Maximize Time, Minimize Frustration

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – I recall a particular Friday afternoon a few years ago – I was working in downtown Toronto for the week and left my hotel at four in the afternoon to drive back to London. I left the hotel parking lot only to sit in another parking lot – the Lakeshore – for over 2-hours! For those of you from large metropolitan areas, I’m sure you can empathize with the frustration I was experiencing as pedestrians were walking past me as I inched along in my car. When I used to work in Toronto my post-work runs would almost exclusively start from downtown, take me west along the Lakeshore bike path, then when I reached my predetermined half-way point I would turn around and retrace my steps back to my home base. At the time it typically took me about 30mins to reach the Boulevard Club on a general aerobic run. That dreaded Friday afternoon, I recall it took me an hour and a half by car! What a waste – it took me three times as long to get to a certain landmark by car as it did by foot.

As runners, we understand that sitting in traffic is such a non-value-added use of our time. We’re burning gas when we could be burning calories, and deferring many other important priorities that need to get done during the day. This article discusses ideas to consider so that you can pass your sedentary coworkers during the commute to and from work – while they’re in their car and you are on foot!