Your weekend is crammed full of badass hikes and sending seriously sketchy routes. But weekdays you find yourself in the mundane routine of NPR and traffic. Ok keep the NPR but lose the traffic. Easier said then done, right? Actually, there is a viable solution that will not only help you improve your weekend adventures, but also relieve stress. Run commute to work. By commuting by foot you kill two birds with one stone. You get the benefits of stress release and you can manage to fit some serious training into your tight schedule. With the following tips you can easily start running tomorrow, seriously, get off your ass and run to work.
The first step is to find a route that suits both your physical abilities and is safe. Start out choosing a modest distance, you can always bump it up after your body adjust after a few weeks. I find that up to nine miles each way is my current limit. With time that number is obviously going to change. After you have your route selected go out and do a practice run. This will not only give you an idea of the time required, but it will also allow you to scout the route. What the fuck do you need to scout it for? How about bathrooms, water, and traffic? If you have to cross major roads, use a cross walk rather then get creamed by a soccer mom hopped up on a mocha grande latte. A little prep work never hurt anyone.
This is nearly as important as the route. Just like your mileage, you will want to start off modest. Shoot for 1-2 times per week initially. After your body adjusts and you work out the kinks, up the miles. Make sure you factor in rest days. If you work Monday-Friday try running Tuesday and Thursday. This allows you to shuttle extra clothes, lunches, etc. in and out in the beginning/end of the week. It also allows time for your body to recover.
The easiest most cost effective thing to do is use a pack you already have. If you are a runner you most likely have something. If not, a small hydration pack that has minimal bounce will work. I typically use a running vest in the 5 liter category. If you plan your week right you will not be carrying clothes in with you. Drive to work Monday and take in lunches, clothes, and toiletries for the week. Another essential piece of gear is a torch (headlamp) and rear light because sometimes work just runs longer then you intend. Making sure you always have light will ensure you see your route and are seen. While on the topic of 'just in case gear' you need to bring a coat. At the very least a windbreaker will help keep the chill off if the sky unexpectedly opens up. Because I love gear I will go into depth about my specific gear in a later post.