What is Run Commuting?

You’ve heard of bike commuting, but have you ever considered run commuting?

Ditching your car and using your own two feet to get to the office is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, save on gas money and stay fit without ever seeing the inside of a gym. Like bike commuting, run commuting is all about making your way to and from work car-free.

On May 20th, I was lucky enough to volunteer at Atlanta Streets Alive, a local event here in town where a two mile strip of normally bumper to bumper traffic was closed off to cars and opened up to all sorts of bike and foot traffic. There were all kinds of events and food along the way, and one booth that caught my eye was The Run Commuter:

the run commuter

I popped in to see what it was all about and came away with lots of information that I couldn’t wait to share with you guys!

Whether or not you can run commute really depends on your fitness level. You’re going to be running with a pack containing your change of clothes for work, possibly a packed lunch, and some essential toiletries, so take that extra weight into account when you’re deciding how far a run commute you can handle. If you can’t run the whole distance to work, you can also consider taking public transit or even driving part of the distance and then running the rest. You also don’t have to run to work and home. Take transit in and run home or drive in one day, run home leaving your car overnight, run in the next day, and drive home that evening. There are lots of ways to make run commuting work for you!

Up Next: Run Commuting Basics

run commuter changing shoes

Run Commuting Basics

Before you set out on your first official run commute, here are some tips to get you started.

1. Planning a Route – If you’ve never commuted to work without a car before, this is a whole different ballgame. The best way to plan your route is to use Google Maps and choose walking directions. It’s also a really good idea to run the route on your day off before you try running it to work. You want to see how much time to allow for your commute (including cleanup) and make sure that the directions you have are good.

2. Getting the Gear – You want a comfortable backpack – one that has a clip around your waist is ideal. Stock your backpack with a change of clothes, toiletries so you can clean up in your office’s bathroom, and light rain gear so you and your change of clothes don’t get soaked if the weather changes on you. You also want to invest in a good pair of running shoes, just like you would with any running program.

3. Scoping Out the Scene – Does your office have a shower or a nearby gym with a shower? If so, this is ideal! If not, you can do a quickie cleanup in the bathroom. Make sure you know where you’ll be cleaning up and changing, so you can plan accordingly.

4. Hygiene – If you don’t have access to a shower, you can still freshen up after your run. Change out of your running clothes and wash your face and pits in the sink with cool water, so you’ll stop sweating. A spritz of skin refresher can also help you cool down and clean up after you run into the office. Stow your dirty running clothes in a mesh or cotton bag, so they can breathe and won’t be super funky when you change back into them in the evening.

5. Stocking Your Space – You want to carry as little as possible on your back, so it’s a good idea to keep your desk stocked with some essentials to get them off of your back. Things like deodorant and makeup can live at work, so you don’t have to carry them back and forth when you’re running

6. Stretching – Stretching after a run is important no matter where you’re running! Try to do a few stretches at your desk when you run into work and work in a longer stretching routine when you get home.

Have you tried run commuting? I’d love to hear your experiences!

6 Tips to Go Car-Free
6 Bad Excuses for Not Being a Bike Commuter
3 Running Programs for Any Level

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Abbe A.
Azaima A.3 years ago


Sheri P.
Sheri P.3 years ago

sounds great but won't work for me...i live too far from work and have to lug a heavy instrument...

Azle B.
Azle B.3 years ago

Walking would be nicer if the traffic was not polluteing the air.

Abbe A.
Azaima A.3 years ago


Abbe A.
Azaima A.3 years ago


Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado3 years ago

In the tropics, walking and running is out of the question when going to the office. I tried walking and I got drenched with sweat. No shower facility in the office.

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado3 years ago

In the tropics, walking and running is out of the question when going to the office. I tried walking and I got drenched with sweat. No shower facility in the office.

Annemarie W.
Annemarie L.3 years ago

interesting idea!

Janice Roquero
Janice Roquero3 years ago

Sounds very complicated. Isn't it just easier to run before or after work.

Harshiita Sharma
Harshiita Sharma3 years ago

Great! Thanks!