Up Your Game: Run Your Commute

headshot for katy lang program director active transportation arlington va
Katy Lang Tweet Us @walkarlington@walkarlington July 1, 2019

Katy Lang was previously Program Director for Active Transportation. She started living car-free in Arlington in 2010 and is passionate about finding great running routes and safety for people walking and biking.

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We know the benefits of walking to work. Running to work is a whole different game.

Walking to work or school is good for your physical and mental health, can put you in a happy and creative mood to start your day, and is a great way to feel more connected to your community.

Running to work provides many of these same benefits plus gets you there more quickly than walking and gives your heart a more intense workout.

A Love Affair with Running

Americans’ love affair with running continues to grow. Participation in 5k and half marathon road races has grown 113% since 2000. Over 18 million people ran a road race in the United States in 2017 alone.

As more and more people take up running, and people run longer distances, the question emerges: how do we fit running into our busy lives? For many people, the answer is run commuting.

A Good Use of Your Time

Depending on your distance to work and the amount of traffic congestion in your area, running could be quicker than driving (even if you’re not a super-fast runner). There’s a satisfaction to stepping immediately into your commute without waiting for the bus and flying past cars stuck in traffic.

Plus, if you’re training for a race or running a lot of miles each week, a run commute removes the need to schedule a separate workout.

Get Started

  1. Start small. Don’t try to run every single day, both ways, right away. Start out small with one day a week, and build up to whatever makes sense to you. You’ll learn lessons along the way and adjust based on your schedule and physical limits. The great thing about Arlington’s many transportation options is that it’s easy to run one way, and take Metro, bus, or a bike the other way.
  2. Get a running backpack. Carry what you need for the day in the running backpack, and keep a change of clothes (for running and for your job) at your workplace, along with body wipes and deodorant.
  3. Scope out the shower situation. If your workplace doesn’t have shower facilities (although many in Arlington do – check with your employer), some gyms allow you to use their locker rooms for a reduced fee. In a pinch, baby wipes can do wonders. Or, do the run part of the commute on the home trip only, removing the need to clean up at all.
  4. Plan your route. Know ahead of time how many miles it will be, the lighting level, and comfort. And give yourself extra time to get settled and cool down once you make it to work.

Run Commuting in Arlington

Arlington is a city well-designed for running. Our 49-mile network of paved, multi-use trails make a run commute easy and stress-free.

Photo Credit:

Sam Kittner/Kittner.com

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