I've fancied the idea of run commuting - as in running to/from work - for a while, but a combination of excuses and laziness has meant that I've never done it. (Cue dramatic pause) Until now.
Last night I ran just over 11km from my office, and here's what I thought:
1) It was bloody hard!
I don't usually carry anything when I run. In fact, I hate carrying stuff when I run. Running with a full backpack was more of a workout than I'd imagined.
2) I'm glad it was longer than 5km
I tend to get warmed up and into my stride around 5-6km into a run, so I'm glad this run was further than that because the first 4-5km were horrible. One of my socks started rubbing me, the wind was blasting into my face and my backpack was bouncing around making me want to throw it into the river and catch the train home. After around 6km, all became well with the world.
3) I felt awesome later on
After I'd sat down, eaten dinner, had a bath, had a cup of tea and relaxed for a bit, I started to feel really good. For want of a word that makes more sense, I felt 'light'. Perhaps it was just my body expressing gratitude for not having to cart a backpack around anymore.
4) I might need a better backpack
I'm not really a gear guy, but I have noticed the difference some specialist equipment makes when running. I did my first run commute with a Coleman backpack I've had for years. It's a great bag for general use - sturdy, a decent size at 25l, very reasonably priced and surprisingly weatherproof - but it's also a tad on the hefty side.
With my work clothes inside, it weighed over 5kg which, as I said above, was horrible at the start of the run. I'm thinking about looking for a lighter, more suitable, bag for longer distances (40km+), fastpacking (which I want to try), and for more regular run commuting. Suggestions are welcome!
5) I'll definitely do it again
Overall, I really enjoyed it. I regularly cycle to and from the office, but running was even more liberating. I love covering medium-long distances, so doing so while saving money, avoiding miserable commuters on the train and getting fit while doing something I have to do anyway feels brilliant.
Hopefully I'll be able to share something useful after doing it a few more times. Any other run commuters out there?