Why Running to Work is the Best Commute Ever, and How To Do It

I will start by saying there is an entire blog devoted to this topic, and the blogger there covers this issue very, very well.  In fact, I read several of his posts before adopting the run commuter lifestyle.  So here you go:  The Run Commuter.

But I will add my few cents here.


I started running to work about six months ago when I changed jobs.  My new office is 2.5 miles from my home, and there is not a particularly direct way to get there using the public transportation options.  In fact, I am not even sure if I could save time by using public transportation.  And it would certainly cost more than running.  Biking was another option, but I am less comfortable with city biking, and I would have to lock up my bike in a dungeon each morning and unlock it each night.  That sounded like a lot of time taken up by logistics for such a short ride.

I figured that if it took me about 30 minute to run to my new job, that was a reasonable commute time–very similar to my walk to my old job, and about what many people drive or Metro from nearby suburbs.  And of course I knew I was physically capable run the 2.5 miles (whether I would WANT to would be another question…).  Here are the main benefits I’ve identified:

  1. I get a minimum workout each day.  Most days, I have a nice, quick jog for 2.5 miles to work, and then I walk home in the evening.  I burn close to 500 calories just getting to and from work.  I can extend my morning run if I want, but even the shorter run has impacted my fitness.  I can tell that my legs are looking more toned, and my race time is back under 4 hours.  I still try to do some other workout about 4 days a week, including a long run if I am in training, Pilates, yoga, lifting at the gym, or Orangetheory.
  2. Instead of causing me stress, my commute helps me mentally prepare for work in the morning and decompress at the end of the day.  I come home at night having left the stress on the sidewalk.
  3. Running saves a lot of money compared to taking a bus or Metro.  I’ve only had to take an Uber a few times, usually during serious evening rain storms this past summer or if I am stuck at work super late.  The only cost of running was the initial investment in the backpack, plus getting shoes slightly more often.
  4. Good for the environment.  Keep your Prius; I’ve got LEGS.

But there is some planning that goes into becoming a run commuter. Continue reading