Since May this year I’ve been leading a running group at my work. We run once a week at lunchtime for about 30 minutes. It’s a great opportunity to be social with people from different departments, as well as the benefits of a mid-day run.
So I thought I’d write a few tips about running at work.
There are enormous benefits to running during your lunch hour at work. You get to have a pick me up half way through the day, you feel more energised in the afternoon and, especially if you are training, you get to add sneaky extra miles to your week. If you have wondered about running at work during your lunch break but thought it might just be too much of a faff here are my top tips, and it’s all about planning.
I’m the type of person who has always taken a lunch hour. It’s in my contract so I take it. I don’t like working through nor eating at my desk. It doesn’t improve my productivity, it just makes me tired!
However, I know some people don’t take their allocated break so if you are the type of person who is inclined to work through your break make sure you plan your run into your day. This can be as easy as telling your colleagues “I am going for a run today”.
Choose a day where you know you don’t have meetings either side of the lunch hour so you aren’t worried about being late or turning up to a meeting all hot and bothered.
Work out where you are going to run before you run. I’ve found a 30 minute run is a good effort and leaves enough time to change and just about have a bite to eat afterwards.
I use mapometer to plot a route before hand. With the group I run with I know we can do 3 miles in 30 minutes so I plan accordingly and so should you. If you are a faster runner or want to add some speed sessions think about that when you plot your route.
In some places, especially if you work on an industrial estate or in a remote area, you may have to drive somewhere before you can run safely. However, it is surprising how many footpaths there are and the Ordnance Survey maps can help you find those hidden routes. They even have maps to download to your phone just in case you are worried about getting lost on the move.
Make sure you are wearing something that is comfortable and easy to change from, it’ll save time! You might not have a choice if you wear a uniform or safety clothes for work but you can do things like wear your running top underneath your overalls or wear your sports bra in the morning so you don’t have to change everything.
For your running clothes I find making sure I have everything packed the night before really helpful. It saves time in the morning and I’m less likely to forget to take it!
Changing before a run isn’t so much of a problem as changing afterwards. When you come back you may be hot, sweaty or, if it has been raining, drenched! So think about taking a small towel, some wet wipes and deodorant to get you dry and fresh.
If you usually buy your lunch make sure you buy something in the morning or the day before. For a 30 minute run I plan 45 minutes in total to include changing clothes etc which only leaves 15 minutes for eating. Even if you have a staff canteen you may have to queue and it doesn’t leave you much time to eat.
So I would suggest either a packed lunch or buy something in the morning. I usually make a sandwich on running days as it is easier and quicker to eat than a pasta bowl or a salad. I would also recommend having something like a banana or a flapjack for a mid-afternoon snack just in case the running makes you feel peckish. You could also try my marmalade oaty slices (scroll down past the soup!), they definitely keep you going.
Let me know if you have any extra tips to add, especially on getting hair to look presentable without a hairdryer after being soaked by rain!