Reader To Reader: Running to work


Running to work may be a time-efficient and cost-effective way to commute, but how do you get your work clothes to the office – and how do you freshen up once you're there?

"I'm currently looking for a new job closer to home. My aim is to reduce my commuting time, but also to run and/or cycle to and from work at least a few times a week. Even if my new employer has changing facilities, how do I get my suit into work when I run in, and not look like a tramp when I get there? I've searched the internet for a waterproof, backpack-style suit carrier, but with no success. Someone please hurry up and invent one so I can buy it off you!"Aberford Mark

Your best answers

  • Get an Eagle Creek clothes pack
    I cycle to work two or three days a week and run in my lunch hour. The commute is 11 miles each way, and the run 3.2 miles. I cycle with a backpack and use an Eagle Creek trouser/shirt pack thingy. You fold up your trousers and shirt using the supplied flexi board, place your clothes into the packer and slide it into your backpack. I do leave a pair of shoes under my desk. – Craig Llewellyn
  • Roll up your work clothes in a backpack
    I keep a suit and work shoes in the office. When I want to run in, I run eight miles to the station with my shirt rolled up in a backpack with pants and socks, plus a clean T-shirt to change into on the train and use in evening. I use a shower at work, but would go down the sink/wet wipes route otherwise. – ebenezer
  • Run home instead
    Why not just take your running shorts/tights and shoes in to work with you, then run home in your work gear? Then you could carry your work trousers home in a backpack and not worry about them getting creased, and put a cagoule on over your shirt. So what if it all gets sweaty? You can put everything into the washing machine when you get home. As for suits, have more than one per working week and take them to the cleaners at the weekend! – Ali Baby
  • Petition your work to provide a shower
    You should start a petition with the government about getting larger companies to provide shower facilities. Check out this site: Petitions.gov.uk. The company I work for provides showers for men, but not for women! – Lil Ms Squirrel
  • Keep a few spare clothes at work
    My desk has trainers underneath, trousers in drawers and shirts on hangers dotted around the office. I usually cycle to work and run either at lunch or home. If I run at lunch, it's a strip-wash in the disabled toilet! Go to work one day with enough clothes for at least two days. If you need a backpack, get a decent one with all the straps and support. – Jamie Leake
  • Run long at the weekend
    Keep shorter runs for weekday evenings and longer runs at the weekend, maybe a Saturday morning run and a Sunday evening run to give your body the greatest possible rest time in between. I don't think there'll be an easier solution untill you find that job closer to home, and/or with shower facilities. – Philip Hatton
  • Whip out a flannel
    In my old job, when I lived four miles from work in an urban area, I used to get the bus in and run home every day. I'd stick my work clothes in a bag on my back and leave my work shoes under my desk. Sometimes I'd cycle in and out, carrying stuff in panniers. There were no showers, but a flannel did the trick. In my new job, I work 22 miles from home, so I run in my lunch hour and am lucky to have access to a shower. – SJS
  • Get on your bike
    Carrying stuff on a bike is loads easier – I tried it whilst running and hated it. So I combine running and biking (bike to and from work, and run three lunchtimes per week). Each Monday I take a towel and trousers for the week, and every day I carry a shirt and underwear. I always leave shoes at work. – Kezz
  • Take your pick
    Some options...
    1. Run at lunchtime and use wet wipes
    2. Run when you get home and have a late dinner
    3. Have an early morning run (I'm still unable to do those)
    4. Adopt more flexible working hours.
    I'm London based, but with a two-hour commute. But at least I can run along the Thames some of the way home... beautiful! – Ginger Monster
  • Run from station to station
    My train to work stops at several stations on the way, so I get off at one and run to the next. That means different distances and terrain, depending on where I get off. You could even turn it into a time trial, and try and reach a station in time to catch the next train. – Quick Silver
  • Join a gym near work
    I leave a spare jacket and shoes at work, and run with underwear, shirt and trousers in a backpack. There are no showers where I work, so I've had to join the local gym. It's not exactly the cheapest option, but it means I get decent shower and changing facilities. The commitment is an incentive to run regularly, and in theory an incentive to cross-train... well, one out of two ain't bad. – Ivan Wadeson


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