Let’s be honest, time is in short supply. It is so valuable and ALL of us claim that there isn’t enough of it. So when we have to start weaving an exercise routine into an already busy schedule, it’s easy to see why people give up after a week or so.
Running to work, or running as part of my commute to the gym, has been something I’ve dipped my toe into at various points in my life. It is a routine that really needs to be honed and developed over time if it’s going to work well… but once you do, the benefits are overwhelming and you’ll wonder why you didn’t ever do it sooner.
Benefits of Running to Work:
- Time. As touched on above, time isn’t something that we have in abundance. We spend most of our day at work, so any minute spent out of those parameters ought to be treated like gold dust to get the most out of your “rest” time. Combining your exercise with “travel” makes a lot of sense to avoid slogging it out in the gym after an already tiring spent on the bus/tube/train.
- Psychological Benefits. Running is quite simply the cheapest therapy you will ever discover! Running to and from work will allow you to clear your mind of last night’s argument with your SO, or allow you to mull over the annual review you just had with your boss before you get home. Keeping work and home life separate isn’t easy, especially with technology allowing us to stay connected to both at all times of the day but at least with the increased thinking time we can mentally process each compartment of our life so that we can at least arrive with a fresh outlook.
- Organisation. Many people take solace in the systemised routine and preparation of a running commute. When you take away the stress and unpredictability of public transport it can free up your mind to think about the important things – endorphins encourage mental clarity and free-flow of creative thinking, so you can plan your day ahead before you even reach the desk.
- Money. This one is pretty self-explanatory. Apart from the initial cost of purchasing running clothing, trainers and a suitable bag (most of which a runner will already have), you’ll be saving on what can be pretty hefty travel costs – albeit fuel or a travelcard.
- Lose Weight. For many people, exercise isn’t all that enjoyable. Therefore if you make it a practical solution to commuting costs and stresses, the benefits are endless and it becomes a mindless necessity to the day as opposed to soley focusing on the need to exercise to lose weight.
- Improve your Running. On the flipside, for those who do love running (and exercise in general) running to work consistently is likely to increase your pace without you even realizing it. If for example you are running 5k into work every day for 6 months it is highly unlikely that you’ll adopt the same plod each time you head out the door. You will learn to discover the stretches of pavement which are quieter which allow you to increase your pace, and, up to a certain extent, the hills will be unavoidable. It is kind of unquestionable that you’ll see a dramatic improvement in both ability and stamina.
Despite all of the above, I suppose what really puts people off running their commute is the logistics involved – how to carry all their items from A to B, arriving at work sweaty and smelly, the preparation involved, etc. In my next post I will be discussing the ways to get around these logistical obstacles to ensure it is as plain-sailing as possible.