Posts Tagged ‘run to work’
Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
Note: The following is an excerpt from a blog post written by Steve Clark-Bicycling and Walking Program Manager with Bike Walk Twin Cities, originally appearing on the Bike Walk Twin Cities Web site (www.bikewalktwincities.org).
More and more I am becoming a run commuter.
Blame it on my dad, who grew up on a farm, and ridiculed any form of exercise that wasn’t productive. Want to build some muscles? “Chop some wood,” he’d say. Take a walk? “Sure, let’s see if we can get ourselves a rabbit.” Running around in circles didn’t really make sense to him. And my bike touring trips, sans fishing rod, also seemed to him like a waste of time.
So perhaps it was inevitable that my love of bicycling became converted into bike-commuting. And now, the same thing is happening with running.
And I’ve decided running to work is indeed more fun than running around in circles. Having a purpose, knowing I have to go the full 8 miles to get to work, makes it feel different than just training for a race or something. I mean, it feels well, purposeful. Productive.
But because it’s so new to me, I’ve been getting new insights on these run commutes. Maybe they’re not quite on the scale of epiphanies, but I am seeing things a little bit differently; hence the reason for this blog. Here are four things that I now completely believe (at least while I’m running).
Make a clean break from the office
On a bike, I never hesitate to carry all kinds of things from the office home with me, and while they don’t weigh me down much physically, they do exert a weight on me emotionally. When I run to work or run home from work, it’s just my body, some clothing, a single door key tucked in a pocket, and perhaps some form of ID. But that’s it. No baggage from work to bring home, and no baggage from home to bring to work. It’s a clean break, allowing me to truly leave work at the office.
Perpetual motion = happiness
Here’s the thing I have discovered about running: You look sort of funny running in place. And while looking silly hasn’t really been something that has held me in check, it does seem like a waste of energy when you could be moving at least in some direction. So, if the light in front of me is red, I’ll take a right instead. Maybe I’ll go far enough so I can safely cross midblock (it’s only jaywalking if you’re between two signalized intersections); or maybe I’ll keep going till I get a green light to cross. It really doesn’t matter as long as I’m able to keep moving. There’s something really fun about being able to keep moving in a congested urban environment.
Traffic seems silly
No, I’m not saying I make better time as a run commuter than a motorist traveling the same distance. But as a runner, the amount of space devoted to moving lots of people traveling alone in large steel enclosed objects becomes pretty striking. And so much wasted time at intersections! Again, on two feet you really feel the freedom to keep moving; the machines we have built our cities around simply do not allow for such a thing.
We were born to run
This is a new concept to me, having been brought up to believe that running is an awful activity and that sooner or later people who run a lot are going to wind up needing surgery. But I started seeing things differently when I read Born to Run, by Christopher McDougal, and made the gradual switch to barefoot (or bareform) running. Now, at age 54, I don’t have any pain when I arrive at work after spending an hour running on pavement in shoes that provide virtually no cushioning! Had someone told me 20 years ago that I would be able to do such a thing (without pain) I would not have believed it. But don’t take my word for this. Read the book and see for yourself.
But clearly, it’s not for everyone….
Theoretically, running for transportation is within the reach of more people than driving a car. And of course it’s cheaper than taking transit or even using a bicycle. But theories don’t always translate into reality. So, consider run commuting if at least 4 of the 5 things below are true for you:
1) Bicycling sometimes seems too easy and walking would take too long (i.e., you live between one mile and ten miles from where you need to be);
2) There is a shower (or at least a sink and faucet) waiting for you at both ends of your journey, and dry clothes you can change into;
3) You have gradually built up to being able to run comfortably the distance that you need to go;
4) Once at work, you have other means to get to any meetings that might take you out of the office (transit, Nice Ride, Hour Car, office bike fleet, etc.);
5) You wanna try something really different but you can’t find your roller skates, and you’ve forgotten how to skip.
The following is a post written by Hilary Reeves, communications director, Bike Walk Twin Cities, that originally ran in the Downtown Journal. Now that Nice Ride bikes are tucked away for the winter, consider using the bus for your quick trips to lunch, meetings, doctor’s appointments, or shopping. Using Metro Transit is an ideal way
The following is a post written by Bri Whitcraft, Special Projects Coordinator, Bike Walk Twin Cities. It all started with a video as inspiration and a Tweet as declaration. (My mom thought it was a joke.) Map & Route From my home in South Minneapolis, I biked to St. Paul to borrow the trailer from
The following is a post written by Hilary Reeves, communications director, Bike Walk Twin Cities, that originally ran in the Southwest Journal. Practical, affordable and surprisingly rewarding, winter bicycling has become increasingly popular in Minneapolis, recently named one of the top five cities in the nation for winter bicycle commuting by MetaEfficient. That’s amazing when