Run to work - a guide

With tube strikes on and summer practically here, it's the time of year to re-awaken the 'run commute'...

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London’s streets are a distinctly different place this week. With tube strikes bringing the capital to a crawl, there’s a definite increase in the amount of lycra on show as commuters run or cycle to work to avoid the slow moving traffic and cramped buses. But why wait until now to feel the benefits of the run commute. 

Wherever you live, with summer weeks away, there’s no better time to run to work. Here’s a starters guide to help you get from A to B in the most practical way possible. 

The gear

A running rucksack
When it comes to gear, a rucksack designed for running is a must. Fit is everything and make sure you try before you buy, ideally by taking it out for a spin with some weight in it. Length is particularly important: if the pack sits too high you’ll end up craning your neck forwards or bending from the waist, which isn’t great for running form. Look for a well structured hip belt and a chest strap, which should feature a bit of stretch and be adjustable. Here are current our pick in the RW office:

Recommended by Joe Mackie, RW's Deputy Editor: Osprey, Talon 18, £70
"Comfy as a gentle hug, yet sticks like a limpet. Also, great attention to detail on the pockets and compartment options to accommodate all your daily essentials."

Recommended by Kerry McCarthy, RW's Senior Writer: Omm 25 litre classic, £63
"After five years of daily use and abuse my first version of this recently gave out on me. I immediately bought another one without even considering another brand. There's a light chassis down the back that moulds the pack to your spine, the pack can be made smaller or bigger according to load, by using a system of drawstrings and toggles; there are chest and waist harnesses to hold the pack securely in place when running and just in case the 25L capacity of the main chamber isn't enough, there are three other zip pockets for the overflow. Oh, and a whistle on the chest strap in case you get lost in the countryside while being chased by an axe murderer."

Recommended by Ben Hobson, RW's web editor: Berghaus Limpet 20, £55
"With over a year of running/cycling to work, my limpet is still going strong. The chest and waist straps are very robust, the fit limpet-like, there are side pockets with bungees to keep water bottles in place, attachment loops and velcro straps to hold all sorts and enough space inside for a change of clothes and shoes. There are some great design features too; the two bobbled padding columns down the back allow for the bag to fit nicely around the spine whilst aiding breathability and the bright coloured panels and zips add visibility to those darker runs. £55 might sound expensive, but if a single peak time tube journey costs £2.80 then after 20 uses the bag has already paid for itself so you'll getting fitter and saving money!"

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Discuss this article

This might sound obvious but perhaps my experience will help somebody: devise a route that stays away from crowded roads. I often run from Paddington Station to my office in London, and I have a choice of a delightful trot through Hyde Park, down Constitution Hill, through St James's Park, across Horseguards Parade and then along the Embankment to the City. The last mile or so past St Pauls and through narrow streets is less enjoyable, but the first five miles are fantastic. Or I can head for Little Venice and pick up the Regent's Canal: apart from one tunnel with no towpath, I get to within a few hundred yards of the office with no motor traffic. Most people's commutes probably offer similar opportunities, but they might take a bit of searching. My big problem is, it's a long run twice a day!

Posted: 04/05/2014 at 15:53

Only if there a shower at work! 



Posted: 05/06/2014 at 12:31

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