Over the last 10 years I’ve learnt a lot from the bike and running miles I’ve put into getting to school and back. Here are some of my top tips ahead of the TRC Run to Work Week for Education Support
1) Plan your route
Now you have left your car on the drive there may be a much more scenic route you can take that avoids the main roads and is even shorter than your normal route.
A quick look on Google Maps will give you a good idea, or you can check out your Garmin route planner , Strava route planning or Komoot which will highlight all the local footpaths in your area.
Try the route out on a weekend or during the holidays to avoid the stress of getting lost on the way into work!!!
2) Think ahead
Are there things you need to have in work that you don’t want to walk or cycle with? Take them in with you the day before when you have the car, like a change of clothes!
Things to think about:
- Change of clothes
- Change of footwear
- Any school work you have taken home
- Washing kit, towel, shower gel…
If you have a space in your office/classroom to keep these things, it will make active commutes that much easier for you!
3) Getting clean for the day
If you are running or cycling and you aren’t lucky enough to have school showers you’re going to want a quick bird bath. Leave some body wash and a towel at work along with anything else you need to make yourself feel clean and smelling nice and you’re onto a winner.
Things to have at the ready:
- Shower gel
- Baby wipes
- Nappy sack bags (to put sweaty clothes in and wont let the smell out) or a sustainable substitute like the KitBrix Dobipak
- Aftershave/perfume/roll on/spays
- Flip flops (you don’t really want to be stood barefoot in the toilets do you?)
The more you can leave at work, the easier your commute will be.
4) Meet up with a colleague
Building up the motivation to run or cycle in on your own can be tough, especially if the car is on the drive calling your name, and that extra 30 mins in bed seems like the better option when the early alarm goes off!
Can you convince a work friend to meet you on the way in. If you’re always too busy for a chat at work you can use the commute for a good catch up! The added knowledge of knowing someone will be waiting for you will hopefully give you the extra push you need to get out the house on time.
You never regret a run or a ride after you have done it, so there is nothing wrong with giving yourself a little nudge in the right direction that you will thank yourself for later!
5) Try it on a PE day
If the thought of putting on your smart clothes after an active commute is putting you off doing it, try it out on a PE day!
This way you can just whack a tracksuit on once you’re in and washed up. It is also a lot easier to roll up sports gear into a backpack than it is a suit.
6) Pick your journey
If running into work isn’t an option for you, running home might be! Getting a lift into work, or taking public transport means that you can take everything you need on the way in, and then take your time to run, ride or walk home at your leisure.
Just think, by the time you are home, your workout is complete, no need to go back out again!
All the gear…
Below is a list of items and hacks I have personally used to make my active commute as practical as possible. (Some of the costs might seem high, but you don’t need everything to start, and once you compare it to your cost of fuel over the year, and the health benefits you’re gaining, you are definitely making a good investment)
The speed of a road bike, with the ability to ride off road too. Lower the chances of a puncture and give you a little more grip on wet or cold mornings.
Check if our school is signed up for the Cycle2WorkScheme, as you can save over 30% on a bike and spread the cost over a year!
Osprey Backpack with waterproof cover
A 25L bag that is adjustable in order to find a comfy spot on your back, enough room for a lap top, trainers, food and a change of clothes. Also Check out KitBrix CityBrix Bag for a solid bag with waterproof compartments.
Waterproof Hi-Vis jacket
Investing in a waterproof and reflective jacket will keep you riding for longer and safe all the year, you may be able to double it up for running too.
Quick drying jerseys
Either an under armour or cycle jersey, if you have something quick drying and a place to air it in work you can avoid bringing double the amount of gear for the return journey. Just make sure you don’t air it in a busy space.
If you are cycling in the winter or even late autumn/early spring, the weather in the morning is going to be cold, and having freezing toes is not the best way to start your day or enjoy your ride!
However, if you just want to keep your toes warm, tin foil over your socks does a great job of keeping the wind chill off your toes!
Clip in pedals
It might seem daunting, but clipping in will make your ride smoother and easier and you will use less energy. If you are worried about falling, don’t worry, it happens to everyone once. But these pedals are easy to clip in and out of at the lights on either side of the pedal.
For the same reason as above!!!
Carry your spares
Make sure you have at least 2 spare inner tubes with you and a pump. You don’t want to be messing around with fixing punctures, so just switch the tube out and get back going again.
Because know one wants a wet bum!
|Solomon hydration vest |
A good running vest like this will give you enough room to carry what you need, as well as have pockets for water in the front. So you can get your lunch in their if needed, or a rain jacket.
Trail running shoes
Give yourself the option to be more flexible with taking short cuts, and they will give you a little extra protection against the wet floor to keep your feet dry.
Something to listen to
whether its a podcast or playlist, listening to something whilst running can really break up the time. Or even a catch up with a friend on the phone…
Don’t forget your fuel
If your run is longer than 30 mins or so, you might want to think about how you ae fuelling your run, if not during at least think about what you have to eat/drink once you arrive at school.
A protein shake, or some porridge, this is something worth planning ahead for.