Hey guys and gals,
Now the summer days are upon us (ish) I’ve been able to get back to running regularly. Run commutes in London have increased by 51% and there’s many a reason why us city folk are donning our trainers – and you should too. I run home from work once a week, so I must confess that I’m hardly a fully-fledged run commuter – but, hey, at least I’m trying. Here are the reasons why a running commute could be the best thing you’ve ever done…
De-stress From Work
After a long day in the office when your inbox still isn’t cleared and your workload is growing, a dose of exercise is the perfect way to burn off any tension/stress. Plus, your usual commute home may include sitting down on a bus or tube, which means the email checking and the stressing can continue here – but with your phone only being used to play some blazing tunes or track your run, there’s no possible way for you to still be in work mode.
Dodge the Traffic (or Sweaty Tube)
For me, running home is actually quicker than getting the bus back! And although it’s probably around five mins longer than the tube journey, that’s five mins I don’t have to spend with my face in someone’s armpit – and quite frankly, that means I’m winning. So instead of being stuck in traffic or in delays on the train/tube, take control of your own destiny and let your legs carry you home.
Now, this really does depend on your commute – if you have to contend with two lanes of traffic and an industrial estate then perhaps this isn’t going to work, however, my route home encompasses St James’s Park and Hyde Park – both beautiful running spots that are brimming with wildlife. I quite often have to dodge the resident squirrels and birds – which certainly beats dodging the shoppers that I greet when I get to Kensington High Street.
See More of The World
Running home has really helped me get my bearings and piece London together – realising how relatively close I actually live to Hyde Park and how Buckingham Palace is literally around the corner from my work. As well as getting to grips with my surroundings, running back means I have the chance to spot places to add to my London bucket list – cafes, restaurants, cute secluded spots in the park. It’s such a good way to open your eyes to the world around you.
Get An Endorphin Fix
Even when I’m not feeling motivated for the five-mile slog home, by the time I’ve made it back, I literally feel on top of the world. I find myself in a MUCH happier mood in the evening if I’ve ran home rather than got on the tube or bus. Proof: this below photo was taken outside my flat after my commute home and just check out that grin (and post-run “glow”).
It’s free (ish)
Once you’ve kitted yourself out with your running essentials – you know, good trainers, gym kit, running backpack – then it doesn’t cost a penny. Perhaps put your bus/train/petrol money in a saving jar and every few months you can treat yourself to something nice.
Now, I’m a big fan of the gym (well, gym classes to be precise) but one thing that is annoying about them is that there is a lot of faff involved as you have to get there and back. With a run commute, you’re getting closer to home as you exercise – winning!
Go at your own pace
What’s nice about a run commute, or just running solo in general really, is that you can go completely at your own speed. If you want to move at a snail’s pace (like me) or stop and walk (like I sometimes do) or fancy stopping altogether just to get a good Instagram snap (like I definitely do), then you can – the beauty of it is that you have no one to answer to.
If you’ve made it this far, you’ll get the message that I think there are a lot of pros to running home, however I can’t be wholly optimistic and I have to let you in on a few of the struggles:
- You will feel like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle with a backpack on your back
- You will look like a crazy person dodging pedestrians on the pavements
- There will be times when it’s just bloody hard (because running isn’t easy)
- And finally, you won’t always look pretty (well, maybe YOU will, but I certainly don’t) – think slapped back hair and a panting, sweaty face.
But, all of these downsides are pretty minor and you’ll see why when you take to the streets yourself.