Tips for run commuting

Tips for run commuting

Travelling by foot is my favourite mode of transport for short journeys.

In previous lives and jobs I would happily walk between two and five miles to and from the office, as long as I could get some caffeine on the way. It always gave me a little natural break in the day, as well as some exercise and space to think.

But over the years, where I lived and where I worked got further and further away from each other – 24 miles at one point! Which made commuting to work by foot power a little impractical.

Now that I’m just a few miles from my office, a walk or run commute is a lot more realistic.

I’ll admit, I walk a lot more than I run but I am trying to do more of the latter. I’ve found it’s a really good opportunity to squeeze a run into the day, especially if you’re pushed for time or energy come the end of the day.

Plus it’s running with a purpose, cause it actually gets me where I’d be going anyway. Even at my slow pace it doesn’t really take any longer than catching a bus or driving, so I’m not losing any time.

Here are a few things I’ve learnt from my recent foray into run commuting (though the same advice would go for walking):

Morning or evening?

Work out if you’re a morning or evening exerciser. I know that I run best in the evening. That doesn’t mean that I never run in the morning, but I started off with what I knew would be less difficult for me. If you’ve got loads of energy in the morning or prefer to exercise on an empty stomach, maybe a morning run would suit you better.

Set a target

Currently I’m aiming to run to or from work just once a week. It’s not a lot, but it’s realistic and it’s one more time per week than I was doing before.

Schedule a regular day

It can help to commit to a regular run by scheduling it into your week like you would an appointment. If you let friends/colleagues/loved ones know that this is the day then it can give you a sense of accountability too.

Check the weather

Bad weather certainly doesn’t have to stop your run but preparing properly for the elements can make it a whole lot more pleasant.

Invest in a good backpack

Whether you run to or from work, you will need to be able to carry your essentials in a bag that is comfortable and doesn’t move around too much as you run. I’ve tried a few out and am a bug fan of the Deuter Speedlite 5 which fits all my stuff in and is easy to secure/adjust around my waist and chest. My boyfriend naturally has a quite different body shape to me, but he liked using mine so much that I got him his own. Most outdoors/sports shops have a good range so try them out for size and see which suits you best.

Stay safe 

Whether you live in the city or out in the countryside, running has the usual dangers to be aware of. Plan your routes so that you’re not anywhere too remote. Be aware of your surroundings – don’t run with headphones in – and watch out for traffic as you cross roads. Now we’re getting into the darker days of Autumn/Winter, make sure you wear high vis so that any drivers, cyclists or other pedestrians can see you coming.

Pack your kit/bag the night before

If there is one thing sure to derail my good intentions it is having to think first thing in the morning. If I have my bag packed and my kit ready to go then I am far more likely to actually do what I set out to, whether that is a walk, a run or a class.

Phone a friend

If you can rope in a friend or colleague to join you on your run, it can make it a more sociable and fun run. Plus, it gives you a reason to actually DO IT if you’ve made a commitment. Some workplaces even have running groups, where you might be able to find a buddy.


Even if you live a distance away that means you have to get public transport, there may still be a way of squeezing in a quick run. Check whether there is a short and feasible route if you get off your bus or train a stop or two earlier.

Do you run commute? Let me know if you have any additional tips to add in the comments, or if you decide to give it a go.

Happy running!