1/ Kit yourself out
Invest in a good running backpack before anything else. Nothing will put you off run-commuting quicker than chafing shoulder straps or a bag mashing into your neck for miles on end. Buy a specialist running bag with chest and waist straps, which will evenly distribute the weight of the pack across your body and hold it securely in place.
2/ Map your route
If you’re used to driving or getting public transport chances are you may not be able to follow exactly the same route by foot. Double check your route beforehand using Strava route builder – it may seem pointless, but it’s best to know any redirections you’ll need before you find yourself lost and late for work. While you’re there, sign up to Red Bull’s Million Mile Commute project – you’ll get a Red Bull sample kit once you contribute your first mile and can earn more rewards as you clock up the commuter hours.
3/ Keep kit at the office
On a similar note, it’s worth planning ahead by taking your workwear into the office before you run-commute in. ‘This might mean leaving a pair of shoes under your desk to wear in advance, bringing in an extra outfit on the non-running days or choosing days to each lunch out to avoid potential in-bag spillage,’ says Hobson. ‘It might make life a bit more complicated, but it does make the running much more enjoyable.’
4/ Take the bare essentials
Clear out clutter before you hit the road. ‘Being overladen can make a run commute feel like a chore rather than a pleasant start or end to the day,’ says Runner’s World digital editor Ben Hobson. ‘This means being organised; you don't want to find yourself stuffing three days’ worth of kit into your bag and then waddling home with a great weight on your back.’ Downsize your cargo as much as possible – even small things like cutting down from your full wallet to a bank card and emergency tenner will help keep your load light.
5/ Freshen up
If you’re lucky enough to work somewhere with showers, then your post-commute hygiene is pretty much sorted. If not, you can try finishing your run at a gym near your workplace, or improvise with baby wipes and dry shampoo. If none of the above appeals, bypass the issue by travelling to work as usual and then running home – win win.
6/ Make it part of your race training plan
Not all of us live within comfortable running distance of work, but that doesn’t mean run-commuting is off the menu. 'If you live a long way from your office, you could use the run commute as a medium long run,’ suggests Runner’s World editor Andy Dixon. ‘Because it's a run with a purpose it won't feel like a training run, but you'll be increasing your weekly mileage all the same. This is especially handy if you are training for a half or full marathon. Or if your time is limited you could break the journey and commute half by public transport and run the rest.' Make sure you're still hitting your training goals by using a heart rate monitor, such as the Wahoo Tickr.
7/ Get fuelled
What you do breakfast-wise totally depends on how far you’re running and what your usual pre-run fuel is. Whatever your situation, make sure you get up early enough to have digested before your run starts to sidestep any stomach trouble en-route. Otherwise, stock up on food to keep at work so you can grab a quick breakfast when you arrive. The Runner’s World team swears by Ryvita or rice cakes topped with peanut butter and fruit, which gives a hit of protein and fibre to refuel and repair - plus, of course, a boost of caffeine from coffee or a Red Bull to power through the morning.