First Try at Run Commuting

Blog entry posted by RunningPirate, Jun 12, 2012.

Authors note: I have work that I need to get done, so I’m writing this blog, instead.

Right, then…

Today, I made my first try at run commuting. I’ve been toying with this for about a month or so – that’s when I heard about the concept of running to work. Up to this point, I’ve been bicycle commuting and either running on my days off, or doing a short run at lunch. When I heard of run commuting, it opened up some new possibilities.

My commute is broken up into different sections, so I run BFR the first 2.4 mi to the local train station, take the train south for a bit, and then run shod the remaining 3.8 mi in to work. Over time, the plan is to gradually increase my BFR mileage (using the 10%/week rule) so that the entire run is barefoot. As of yet, I am not running home, but that can become a possibility in the near future. Ultimately, the thought is to run the entire 11 miles in to work.

Overall, I can happily say that I enjoyed it and I am planning on run commuting at least once per week.

These are some random thoughts and whatnot that I noted on my run this morning:
1) I would not even consider this if there were not any showers at work. I’ve read some articles where folks did a variation of the Greyhound Bus Depot bath (basically, wash your face and the parts that stink), but that’s no good for a guy like me who sweats buckets.
2) My running clothes were not fully dry at the end of the day. True, I just mentioned above that I’m a good sweater (and I also am a lovely shawl), but I sort of figured that the forces of evaporation would not need more than 9 hours to dry out my running clothes. As I do not intend on wearing my work clothes for the trip home, I pretty much need to bring a dry set. Unfortunately for the guy sitting next to me on the shuttle, I was wearing damp, moderately pungent clothes for the ride home.
3) I’m learning the downfalls of using a cheap backpack. True, I don’t need a pack that can withstand Everest, but there are some things that are problematic.
  • Number one: The shoulder strap buckles do not hold after they have been adjusted. It got to the point that I constantly had to hold on to the bitter ends in order to keep the shoulder straps cinched up (which prevents the pack from swinging while I run).
  • Number two: Operating the zippers are a two-handed affair, making it a pain as I had to stop and close one of the waist pockets when I checked my phone.
  • Number three: The access port for loading/unloading is a bit small, which is fine for soft items (e.g. clothes) but creates problems with things that don’t squish down, like shoes or the container I carry my lunch in.
  • Number four: The pack I’m using now does not have one of those air-mesh back suspension things that create a void between your back and the pack. My thought is that I’m still going to be sweaty, so there’s no point to trying to avoid it with the air-mesh back suspension thingy. What I did learn is that while this might be true, I’m also soaking the padding with sweat, which – as you can probably imagine – will probably get rather nasty in short order.
This aside, I’m going to tinker with how the pack is loaded and see if there are any cheap mods that I can do to make the pack a little user-friendlier[1].
4) For now, I’m using a 30-liter pack (Outdoor Products Skyline 8.0). I went with this size so I can carry clothes, lunch, and my running shoes for the times that I’m BFR. I’m pondering different options that would allow me to use a smaller pack, like storing some clothes at work for when I run in (like I do with toiletries) as well as eating in the cafeteria those days, so I don’t have to carry lunch (don’t like the cost of that, though…also, whenever I eat at the cafeteria, I’m virtually obliged to buy at least two cookies, which starts me on a cookie binge). As for the shoes, I might look at carrying them outside of the pack in the water bottle pockets. In time, I should be able to go BFR the entire distance, which would eliminate the need to carry shoes, altogether.
5) My lunch salad seemed a bit traumatized by my run in to work. The vegetables were…I don’t know…bruised or something. Oddly, the dressing tasted like tears, so I don’t know what’s up with that.

So that’s it, for now. Nothing hugely exciting or groundbreaking – just wanted to capture some thoughts on how things shook out, today.


[1] This was originally written as “more user-friendly” but the MS Word gods felt “user-friendlier” was more apropos.

About the Author

I dunno...what do you want me to say? I do a bunch of stuff on land and water - none of which I'm expert at - which either makes me well-rounded or easily bored. In addition to this, I read books in bulk and sometimes I take pictures with a camera. I live in The Bay Area and I do my thing. That's it. Nothing for you to see here...just move along, now...