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Running Is The Best Transportation

When I moved to downtown Montreal in 2010 I quickly realized that driving wasn't the fastest way to get around. The drive might only be five minutes but then you'll spend 15 minutes looking for parking; it just makes more sense to walk 20 minutes and enjoy some fresh air on the way. Eventually I realized that I could cut the time in half if I just ran. Instead of walking to team running workouts, I started running, but that's not the only place I ran to.


I was starting my first work term as an engineering student, and I didn't want my running volume to decrease. I had worked my way up to about two hours of running per day (my coach at the time, John, measured in minutes and not kilometres) and didn't want to lose all that fitness. Since my temporary workplace was only about 12k from home, I decided to run to and from work twice a week on my easy run days. At the time I had no idea that run-commuting was actually something that people did, but I ended up finding a small backpack that I thought would be good for transporting a change of clothes, lunch, deodorant and baby wipes, while still being small enough to run with. I remember it being about $80 and at the time I thought I was crazy to spend that much money on a back pack. On the bright side, you better believe that I was going to use it since I spent the money...


It turned out that those two run to work days were the best days of the week. I would get to work more awake than on the other morning where I drove and I would get home feeling accomplished. I had more time in the evening since I didn't need to get out for my run after getting home... although sometimes I would use it for sleeping, so I guess I didn't really have more time in the evening... Another advantage was that the run-commute time was predictable. Unlike driving where you could be sitting in traffic if there was an accident along your route, the time it took to run the distance was always within a five minute window. Of course there are a few downsides to run-commuting besides having to run with a 10-pound weight on your back.


The most unpleasant part about run-commuting is putting your sweaty running clothes back on at the end of the day for the run home. I never had (and still don't have) space to bring a second set of running clothes so that's the only option for me. Another thing I worried about was that if it rained all my clean work clothes would get wet on my way to work. I ended up buying a waterproof cover at Mountain Equipment Coop that didn't take much space and I always had it with me to put over my backpack if it started raining. My new co-workers thought I was a little crazy, but as runners we've already used to being teased by our non-running family and friends so it shouldn't be a reason to avoid run-commuting. During that work term in 2011, there was one person that didn't think I was crazy and he started joining me on some of those run commutes. Today he is my husband and also proof that if you just live the life that makes you happy, you will find the person that's right for you.


Now I'm curious, how many people out there have run-commuted? How did you first start? Do you have any run-commuting tips?


Photo: This is a photo of me and my husband, Andre, at a local race (Classique du Park La Fontaine) where he ran 5k and ended up going under 20 minutes. At the time of this photo we were still just co-workers and friends.

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