Running with a backpack, will it hinder me?

16 messages
12/12/2013 at 19:53

So I run to work about 3.6 km each way so just over 7 km a day. I work from home alot so only do this 2-3 times a week.

I find it a great way to increase my weekly mileage and it makes my journey to work easier and shorter.

Problem is I need to carry a backpack, it needs to have a change of clothes for work a laptop, iPad, and a few other bits. I weighed it and its about 7 kg give or take half a kilo.

Now I run at an average pace with my backpack of about 4:35-4:50 min/km and I run with a fore foot strike.

It's all pavement running and I wear well cushioned shoes, my worry is that I have heard that this might cause extra strain on my back and knees, but worse it could have a detrimental impact on my running form.

I would rather run without it but that would mean giving up running to work. Does anyone have any insight into this, would I be better off just going to the gym after work?

Its so nice using the wasted time of commuting to get in some extra mileage.

cougie    pirate
12/12/2013 at 22:55
It will give you a bit more impact - what 10% of your body weight ?
I'd worry more about the laptop shaking to bits on the run than any adverse affects.

I often run from work with a rucksack but I keep it as light as possible and keep the laptop in work on those days.

Shoes and toiletries I keep in a locker at work.
12/12/2013 at 23:05

I runmute at least 3 days a week and my ipad is none the worse for wear, I'd carry one, the extra weight is probably beneficial to your general times, its not as though you're wearing anvils is it?

13/12/2013 at 08:02

Yeah it only adds an extra 10% to my weight but thats still quite alot.

I keep shoes and shower gel etc at work so only need to carry clothes to change into.

As for my laptop I have a very good NorthFace backpack that keeps it nice and protected. It's also got an SSD so it has no moving parts.

I haven't seen any ill effects from it yet so because of the convenience and extra mileage ill keep at it for a while, hopefully it makes me stronger and I smash ill my PB's next year  

13/12/2013 at 08:45

I commuted a bit over the summer, the biggest challenge was that it took a while to get a backpack that fitted properly for running but when i did it made a greatdifference.  It took some while to get used to it and may slow me down a bit, but I see it as a bit of extra training such as running on shingle, and probably won't don any harm since it's not a long run.

Makes running without it feel easier!  Mind you I only carried about 2kgs and never carried a laptop so maybe less worry for me.

I am so used to it that for any of my longer runs over 10 miles I use a hydration backpack instead of taking a water bottle so you get that benefit.

seren nos    pirate
13/12/2013 at 09:44

I think that the important thing is that you use a backpack designed for running so that the weight is distributed properly and that the support is in the correct that its doesn't bounce around when you run

13/12/2013 at 09:54

Yep I agree, I use this backpack:

It's large enough to fit everything in, as well as a 15" laptop, iPad, and also has a battery pack for charging phone while on the way home.

It has comfortable shoulder straps but most importantly chest and stomach straps which is essential IMO to stop it bouncing around on my back.

I tend to tighten them up as much as possible because I like it to feel rigid.

13/12/2013 at 16:29
EssexLion wrote (see)

I like it to feel rigid.

Don't we all.

I run to and from work with a backpack every day, and you do get used to it, but it massively helps to have a comfortable one.  I don't take a laptop though.  It would help to plan ahead in terms of maybe taking in one week's worth of clothes at the start of the week, so you don't have that extra weight on top of your electronic stuff.

14/12/2013 at 21:25

My rucksack bounces around less annoyingly if I pick up my heels more.  I'm not good at picking up my heels so I regard the rucksack as a training device.

17/12/2013 at 10:14

I run 7 miles to work with a pack. I like to think of it as training with a weighted vest. I feel like i fly when i don't wear it.

18/12/2013 at 13:19
I agree, I run around 35 miles a week while wearing a rucksack and the feeling on the other runs when im not wearing it is amazing its such a good training aid especially when running up hill
18/12/2013 at 13:47

When I runmute I take all the heavy stuff and clothes in for the week on Monday when I bike and then I can run with only my lunch and a very light backpack Tues-Thursday and bring my gear home Friday.  My backpack sits very close to my body and doesn't move very much at all - you just get used to it.

18/12/2013 at 13:51

Just so this thread doesn't get too off topic, I am happy with commuting to work with a backpack I don't have any problems with it, I like it and it makes my life alot easier.

However I was asking what risks am I taking with my knees or joints or what detrimental effects might it have on my running form or will it hinder me in any way.

I have pretty much taken the attitude that if it works right now then don't worry but if I start getting injuries might have to re-evaluate it.

Edited: 18/12/2013 at 13:52
19/12/2013 at 10:41

20/12/2013 at 14:16

Another rucksack commuter here - do about 5/6 miles a day getting to and from work (with train help too, I might add..). It should help you improve...the amount of times that I have been late and I have had to do a fast 2 mile undulating tempo run to get to the station!

Defo run better since I started a few years back.

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