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#runmute with John O’Regan

  • Athletes
  • Thursday 26th October, 2017
  • By Susan
Man Run Commuting

John O’Regan does a daily runmute from Leixlip and believes that most people can incorporate it into their commute- even if it’s once a week. The key is getting prepared and travel light.

How often have you heard or said, “I don’t have time to exercise or to train”?, well if you live within a reasonable and safe distance from work and you have time to be sitting in traffic then you might realise that you do have time for the running commute #runmute.  Running to or from work takes a little bit of planning and organising but the benefits can far outweigh the effort required.  I use the running commute to fit in my easy and recovery runs and when time allows I add on some distance when trying to increase my mileage.  If you decide to give it a try then I have a few suggestions to make it that bit easier and have suggested a few items that will make the journey more comfortable and safer.  To start with, I suggest you do your first run in the direction from work to home as this allows you to leave a change of clothes and wash gear at work.  It also allows you to work out the distance and time required to make the journey.  Don’t forget to add on some cool down time and  wash time when running to work as this will set you up for a relaxed but invigorating start to the day.  If your run home feels tough then chances are the run to work will feel easier or vice versa.  This is generally the way with a point to point journey unless the climbs are equally distributed.  My own route is mostly downhill going to work and then mostly uphill going home which I think is the best variation.

The Essentials
Pack.  This is a very important item and its size will be dependent on your requirements.  If the bag is too big then the contents might move around and this can be very annoying.  Choosing a bag with compression straps can prevent this.  When looking for a #runmute pack- you want one with both a chest and waist strap. Nothing worse that your bag slapping against your back as you run. Packs with side pocket- such as the Osprey Daylite Plus mean you can easily stash hats, gloves or a lightweight jacket without having to stop and take your bag off. Some bags are waterproof such as the Exped CloudBurst and this is a nice feature for Irish weather.  If your bag isn’t waterproof then I’d suggest you use a couple of small dry bags to keep your phone/wallet etc. dry. They also help organise your spare clothes inside your bag. If you are using dry bags for dirty clothes- turn it inside out so the bags are easier to clean.

Jacket.  At this time of year I would favour a waterproof jacket but one that is light enough to carry in your pack if not required. You want a packable jacket- The North Face Dryzzle Jacket is light and made of Gore-Tex®.

Shorts or Running tights.  Comfort is the deciding factor here and personally I prefer shorts as my legs don’t feel the cold as much as my upper body.  I find the Under Armour Launch 2-in 1 Shorts very comfortable.

Top.  Depending on the time of year I would alternate between a long or short sleeve top. During the colder months my preference would be for something light but warm such Under Armour ColdGear Compression Crew.

Socks.  A very important but often overlooked item.  My preference is for Smartwool and Merino Wool because they will stay warm even when wet.

Headtorch.  The clocks are going back so a small head torch is essential and my favourite is the Petzl E-Lite+ . This is so light that you won’t even realise you are wearing it and it doesn’t take up any space when not being used.  If you require more light then you can try a brighter alternative such as the Petzl Tikka with 200 lumens.

Hat, Gloves & Buff (neck gaiter).  These items are essential especially when starting out on a cold dark morning.

Reflective.  You need to take responsibility for your safety and make sure that you can be seen.  I always make sure to have clothing which includes some form of reflective fabric and I keep these items specifically for the running commute. As you will see the Buff Neck GaiterHat and the Sealskinz All Weather Cycle Gloves shown below have reflective elements.

If you’ll be using the gym or need to bring washgear to work then I suggest the following:

Packtowel.  Lightweight and fast drying.  If you have a place to air this out then you might get more than one use before needing to wash.

Flexbottles.  Very handy for carrying a few days supply of shower gel.

Lifeventure TSA Zipper Combination Lock.  I have chosen this particular lock because the clasp is flexible and ideal for a gym locker plus a combination lock means you don’t need to worry about lost keys.

Eagle Creek Garment Folder. Some people are put off by running to work as they envision themselves sitting in meetings in crumpled shirts and suits. The Garment Folder will keep 7 shirts crisp and wrinkle free. Keep a suit jacket in the office and you don’t have to worry.

GPS Watch.  If you are actively training they you probably already have a Garmin, Suunto or similar type watch.  Some of the more modern models such as the Garmin Forerunner 935 can connect to your phone via bluetooth and will notify you of incoming calls or allow you to read text messages.  If using wireless headphones then you can also answer calls.  Personally I prefer to run without headphones for safety reasons and I decide on the importance of incoming calls or text messages which can usually wait.

If you are cycling, The North Face Kaban could be a good option with 15inch laptop and a chest strap,


Be Safe, Be Seen, Be Comfortable and make sure the contents of your bag stay dry and don’t move around.


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