fitness london running

Desperate times call for desperate measures aka Run commuting

Wednesday, 6 May 2015
Running in London

This week I’m out of my usual exercise routine – I’m doing a training course all week (work related IT stuff) away from my office and therefore away from my Crossfit box. Crossfit withdrawal symptoms have kicked in hard and fast. The struggle is real. I am very aware that I am badly addicted to it.

The timing for a Crossfit break is good though – I’m running the Hackney Half Marathon on Sunday. As much as I’d like to believe that I’m a total machine and what not else fitspos call themselves, I am actually a human being and I believe in a taper, meaning – not doing things like deadlifting 1.5 times my body weight before a race.

Last week when I thought about how I was going to move that body of mine this week, for a nanosecond I thought that maybe I could go running early in the mornings. I remembered quickly though that I cannot run at 6am. Some people say it’s possible to become a morning exercise person but I can’t. I do do Crossfit at 7am but by the time I get there I have been awake for 1.5 hours already so I’m fully awake.

Now the trouble is that I don’t really enjoy running after work either, but morning running not being an option and lunchtime running not being an option this week (no showers + short lunch breaks), after 5pm is my only option this week and here’s how I make my late afternoon runs bearable, and even a little enjoyable for myself:

  • I pack light.
    I have a tiny Deuter Race X Air backpack that I stole from MrB. It fits clothes (minus a jacket or coat but thankfully I live close to the tube station so at this time of the year I don’t need one), Butterfly Twists (dudes – the cutest, lightest, most comfortable shoes ever!), a water bottle and bits & bobs like debit card, snacks, Oyster card, sunblock, etc.
  • I eat lots & drink lots of water during the day.
    I have to be really conscious to eat more and drink more water during the day than I normally would. If I don’t, I have no energy in the tank at 5pm to run and get all dizzy and light-headed. At the moment I’m still getting over my birthday-induced sugar addiction so daytime snacks are falafels, boiled eggs and nuts in ziplock bags.
  • I try to move a lot during the day.
    I find that if I don’t take regular breaks and go for even a little walk at lunchtime, my shins will KILL me when I attempt to run at the end of the day. Weird how that happens but it happens every single time I’ve been sitting at my desk for most of the day. And any runner knows that shin pain sucks big time and then some.
  • I chill out and not expect it to be like a normal training run.
    Other than having a backpack which means extra weight, running through the city of London also requires lots of stopping and starting and dodging of people. If you ever run in a busy city, for the sake of sweet Mary, Mother of God – don’t race and knock people over like a douche. Just enjoy the view, be polite and don’t rush. (It’d be nice too if half of the pedestrians didn’t look at their phones while walking!)

And that’s about it. A few years ago I thought I could never run commute but when it’s done going home it’s totally doable – no need to carry toiletries or a towel, etc. I’ve also found that I really enjoy running through London, as busy and crazy as the streets can be, I see parts of the city I don’t usually see (because I’m underground or just never go there). I’m always amazed at how small central London actually is and how quickly you run past tube station after tube station after tube station.

This is how far 7km gets me this week:

Running in London

After that I get on the tube and 15 minutes later am at home.  Easy, peasy and a few miles in the legs every day :)

Anyone commute by running on a regular basis? What are your tips and tricks?

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  • Anna @AnnaTheApple Thursday, 7 May 2015 at 14:24

    I’m doing the Hackney half too! :-) Massive good luck!!! I’m hoping it won’t be too hot…

    • MrsB Thursday, 7 May 2015 at 19:14

      It was very hot last year and I didn’t enjoy it very much :|

  • Katie Thursday, 7 May 2015 at 08:39

    People looking at their phones are INFURIATING (I am such a hypocrite!) and also I think people should pay more attention to runners and move out of the way because it is harder for us to change direction.
    My main tip is about your comment on not expecting it to be like a normal run – yes, some bits may be, but on a lot of occasions you will be dodging people, traffic lights become more annoying plus having a backpack adds about 2 minutes per mile on (slight exaggeration)
    Oh, and make sure you don’t put your keys in the small pocket where they jingle around as it will drive you crazy!

    • MrsB Thursday, 7 May 2015 at 19:17

      Oh yes, nothing metal in the small pocket of the backpack AND as I found out today, if the bag is very full, don’t zip it up to the top but to one side – a zip opening at the top means jiggling contents open the zip and all your belongings end up on the street! :|

      • Katie Thursday, 7 May 2015 at 21:41

        Yeap so Blackberries don’t really like falling out of rucksacks….battery one way, rest of case the other…..learnt my lesson with the zip positioning!!!