Training on the Commute

Jennifer Love has identified as a runner since she was a young girl. A life of passion for running brought her through the competitive world of track and cross country through college. She is an athlete ambassador liaison for Trail Butter, an aspiring writer, part time coach, fly fisherwoman, and dog mom to Jack and Juneau.

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Let’s set the scene, shall we?

BUZZ! BEEP! BUZZ! BEEP! BUZZZZZZZZ! It’s 5:45 am on the dot, and you’re being shaken from your deeply dreamy slumbers. You reach over and press any and all buttons hoping that one of them will shut the maddening alarm off. You wriggle, writhe, and stretch out the morning kinks while simultaneously grunting in your captivating morning tone. You contemplate another few moments of resistance to the fact the day is awaiting what you have in store. In your groggy state of waking thoughts, you are somehow able to visualize your obligations from sun up to sundown. Walk the dogs, feed the belly’s in the house, 9:00am meetings, 11:00am coffee date, work, work, work, or not? Back home, pick up kids, walk dogs round two, dinner plans with friends, work on that blog post you’d been meaning to write, and just like that the day seems to have escaped you.

Come rain, snow, and everything in between.

That 50K, 100K, or 100 mile race you so excitedly signed up for hasn’t gone anywhere. Did you get those training miles in? Did you get that five minutes of core work that you committed to incorporating into your strength training goals, knocked out? The reality exists that there are sometimes just not enough hours in a day to achieve all of your daily superwoman goals staring you in the face. Meanwhile your race is still on the calendar, and with each day is getting closer to welcoming you to the start line. Your busy schedule is showing no signs of letting up, and you’re finding yourself waking before any signs of sunrise, and chasing sunsets deep into the night to ensure you’re sticking to that training plan. You WILL be ready for race day. This is where I share with you a magical training trick of mine. Run commuting! You’ve heard of others doing it, you’ve probably dabbled in running from point A to point B yourself. Have you truly considered the value that incorporating run commuting can add to your training plan? Let’s taco ‘bout it!

“Time,” is the biggest enemy when it comes to us achieving the goals we have outlined in our ambitious training schedules. So it is “time,” that we need to efficiently maximize in each of our days to get the most out of. Run commuting is a tool that can be effectively used to rack up those training miles as you enter into your work week being the superhero you are! Pepper in a little preparation, the willingness to do what it takes to stick to your goals, and a little silliness to get you to and fro, and voila! You are training, being environmentally conscious, AND maintaining your boss lady status.

Some days you’re rewarded with puppy snuggles!

I can attest a number of running accomplishments to the strength that my weekly run commutes provided where I would have otherwise not been able to get the training in. As I talk about some of my own tips in this arena, always take into consideration that these miles will most likely be a little slower than your normal training miles. I often take advantage of weighing a pack down with items to sneak in some strength/weight training during these days. Embrace a slower effort, and the cardio benefits it is sure to bring you! Tune into the scenery around you. Have you ever looked at the city you live in from the perspective of this new means of foot travel? I always find something new in my run commutes that connects me deeper to the city I call home!

You have the power to be awesome. You have the power to choose strength, greatness, perseverance, grit, and ambition every single day. Your goals will only be achieved if you fully commit yourself to them. For better or worse, you face each day with determination, willpower, and the awareness that the best is yet to come! Embrace the process, and never take the ability to chase your dreams for granted!

Put in the work, and reap the most cherished memories the finish line brings!

Jenn’s Run Commuting Tips:

  1. Have your gear + game plan figured out the night before. If you’re not planning on running into the office on a Monday, then use this day to stash a change of clothes, fresh kicks so you’re not tracking footprint evidence that you were a badass who got themselves to work on foot, and perhaps extra snacks you can grab immediately upon arrival.

    1. If you are not planning on running in on a Monday then it is likely you’ll need a running pack that can carry your goods. Ultimate Direction has a phenomenal arsenal of fastpacks that I have found to work amazing for run commuting!

    2. I carry a small dry bag with me at all times to keep phone, wallet, and weather sensitive items in. I also live in the PNW so not having a dry bag is really not an option.

    3. I also keep an extra hair dryer, and flat iron at work to tame the curly beast hiding under the beloved trucker.

  1. Reflective gear is a must. Unless you have the ability to run commute on an extensive network of trails, odds are you’ll engage with traffic patterns. Always assume drivers can’t see you. In the winter months the days are shorter, and you’ll most likely be running in the dark in one, or both directions. You can purchase all sorts of reflective running tape at your local running stores! You’ll most likely look ridiculous, and get flack from your kids and friends, but that’s a small price to pay for your badass life!

  1. Music! Podcasts! Books on tape! Oh my! If you’re like me, and have a disdain for running the roads, but also understand the value they have in keeping speed integrity in those trail legs of yours, plugging in may really help the miles slip away as you galavant into the workplace.

    1. Safety is still our number one priority, so make sure you’re never rocking out, or nerding out so hard that you can’t hear what’s happening around you. Emergency sirens, horns, and the bellman that always wishes you a good day, all require your attention for better or worse!

    2. Repeat after me, “I love road miles. They are my friend. They keep me speedy. They give me competitive edge. They serve a purpose. I love road miles!”

  1. To shower, or not? That is the question! Yes. You will most certainly break a sweat as you cut your down on that carbon footprint while carrying yourself to work. Many are fortunate to have the luxuries of showers at the office, and many are not. If you have a shower, great! If not- you either have two options:

    1. Pat yourself dry, and wear the crusty layer under the work garb like a badge of honor, OR

    2. Invest in some wet wipes to clean off said crusty layer, and spritz some delightful aroma over yourself, and fool those that may otherwise question your run commute scent!

  1. Always carry that relentlessly positive attitude with you! Smile at those stuck in evening traffic as you prance by with accomplishment in finishing the work day, AND training day in the same breath. Enjoy!

About the Author

Jennifer Love has identified as a runner since she was a young girl. A life of passion for running brought her through the competitive world of track and cross country through college. She is an athlete ambassador liaison for Trail Butter, an aspiring writer, part time coach, fly fisherwoman, and dog mom to Jack and Juneau.

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