Run To Work: The Career Move To Get You Moving

By Susanna Quirke

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The run commute is growing in popularity, particularly in London. And, with promises of making you fitter, faster and more alert, it’s easy to see why. Here’s how you can get in on the action.


The benefits

Oh come on! We shouldn’t have to tell you the benefits of being fit and active. As well as obvious improvements to your physicality, fitter individuals demonstrate better mental health, higher cognitive abilities and superior concentration.

You’ll save money on daily travel costs, and possibly even time. With the average commute in London hitting 74 minutes, it’s easy to see the appeal of escaping the tube for the upper air. And escape is the right word: who wants to be snuggled into some stranger’s armpit when they could be pounding the streets, breathing the tasty fumes of London traffic.

Oh alright; there are drawbacks to the running commute, pollution not least among them. But altogether, it will make you healthier, smugger and more ready for work than that infuriating bus journey. Plus, you’ll render yourself immune to transport failures and strikes. So long, TfL - we never liked you anyway.


The prep

Before you attempt that ten-mile odyssey into central London, you should probably build up some fitness. Short jogs and cardio exercises will get your heart rate up, improving your strength and stamina. Because nobody wants to be pounding the pavement

You’ll be needing appropriate togs, too. Natural fibres like cotton, wool and linen will soak up sweat, which is a good thing. Man-made ones like polyester will leave it sitting on your skin, ready to stink. You want breathable, durable clothes that will make you want to put them on.

All runners should invest carefully in their trainers, and there’s a ton of advice on the internet as to how. Just don’t fall for the ‘shock-absorbent insole’ con; they don’t actually prevent injury.

Because you’ll be moving to and from the workplace, you’ll have things to carry with you. If a small purse and phone are all we’re talking, the Flipbelt might be just the ticket. For anything more bulky, you’ll need to invest in a good runner’s backpack that won’t bounce around as you move.


The process

It’s up to you whether you run to or from work, but the general consensus is don’t attempt both – or at least, not at first. If your office doesn’t have a shower, afternoons might be the best place to start; nobody wants you stinking your way through the morning’s board meeting.

If you’re determined to get going in the morning, keep a good supply of wet wipes, face wash and dry shampoo in your desk drawer. Ask colleagues to tell you honestly if you smell, and take their answers as Bible. It depends on how much you sweat, and how smelly you are when you do, but social acceptability comes first in considerations of personal hygiene.

Anything you don’t want to carry daily on your run, keep in your desk drawer at work. Make sure you always have spare underwear, shoes and a change of clothes at the office – just in case. And if you really have to lug that laptop home, there are services that can carry your bag for you.

Finally, don’t attempt to run the whole distance immediately. Consider jogging part of the way to work, then walking or catching a bus. Tiring yourself out from the off will not only put you off the run commute, but make you less likely to give it another go in the future.

Ready to hit the streets? We’re right behind ya.


Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment agency which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and giving out graduate careers advice. To hire graduates or browse graduate jobs London, visit their website.

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