Guelph Business Owner David Reynolds Runs to Work
Running is an activity that promotes physical and mental health as well as allows for a release from the regular stresses of day-to-day living. Unfortunately, runners do not always find time to go out to enjoy their run. Moreover, after returning from work, people often sink into the couch and relax, obliterating the will it takes to go for a run. To stop missing out on your run and the benefits it provides, try “run commuting”. Run commuting is exactly what it sounds like; you run to and from your workplace. This allows time to run as well as helps to ease the transition in and out of your “work mindset”.
Many people segment their day between “home” and “work”. Work is often considered the place where you must perform, be diligent, and attentive, whereas “home” is thought of as a place to relax and forget about the worries of the day. The commute is that strange, transient time that exists somewhere between the definitions of “work” and “home”. Our commutes can often determine the essence of how we feel during the day; for instance, think about how you feel when you are rushed to work, with bad traffic, compared to how you feel when you have had ample time to arrive for work after an easy, stress-free commute. Our experiences during our travels to and from work define how we start and finish our days.
Without sacrificing “work” or “home” time, you can squeeze in a few kilometers every day by running to your workplace. Not only does this allow busy runners to engage in a beneficial activity, but also provides a “Zen-like” experience to transition between your “home” and “work” mindset. David Reynolds, President of INAC Services based out of Guelph, Ontario has been run commuting for several years, and states that, “Run-commuting gives a transition between work and home; leaving for work or home and getting into a car is stressful. You must be alert and don’t have a chance to set yourself up for the day or wind down. I find that running to and from work gives me the ability to calm down and make that transition”. Run-commuting helps prevent people from getting stressed out about the many tasks they must perform during the day ahead of them, and allows time to “wind-down” before arriving at home.
The health benefits of running are no mystery; running is beneficial both mentally and physically. With run commuting, the health benefits are a bonus, but focusing on the run and forgetting about the other, more stressful elements of your day is what the true benefits are. David Reynolds does not consider his speed or distance when commuting. He focuses on the mental benefits. “I’m not doing it to break any track records or anything, because during my commutes, I just focus on running and nothing else”.
Tips for Getting Started:
- Don’t Focus on Your Performance
Often when we run, we take special consideration of our speed and time, and weigh it against our past performances. Although this helps people to reach specific goals, it is not feasible to consider past run commutes as an indicator of your progression because there are many variables that will affect your speed on the way to and from work. Consider running to work on a day where there is no snow on the sidewalk, few pedestrians, and every traffic light seems to stop/go in your favour. Now, imagine a run with ice on the ground, congested sidewalks and being forced to wait at every stop light you run into. The time it takes to run commute will vary a little every day, similar to how if you drove, your commute would be slowed if you were held up by a traffic jam. The run commute should be considered as simply a way to get to work with added health benefits and as a catalyst to transition your mentality between “work” and “home”.
- Expect Not to be Seen
Assuming your hours are representative of a standard work day, chances are that many other people will be driving the same time you are running to work. This will result in more traffic than usual, and you will need to take extra safety precautions to avoid injury. Wearing bright clothes is always a good idea, as is wearing reflectors or lights for being seen if it’s dark. As well, run as if you are invisible to everyone else; look out for your surroundings and do not assume cars will see you and/or know to stop.
* On a side note, remember that if you are running between home and work, you will likely pass by neighbours and co-workers, so, if someone was to cut you off and you give them a certain single-finger-salute, be aware that it might be a neighbour or colleague you see every day.
- Remember That you Have to Work After Running
Usually, a run does not have any immediate obligations following it. However, if you run to work, you will likely have obligations to deal with soon after arriving. Keep in mind that a run may leave you looking like a wild animal, and perhaps smelling like one too. To avoid looking unprofessional, or insulting your colleagues senses, plan ahead and leave a few pairs of shoes, pants, and shirts at your workplace. Additionally, leaving deodorant and a tooth brush might help on days where you are sweaty after your commuting run. If leaving supplies at your workplace is not a possibility, there are a number of backpack manufacturers that produce bags made specifically for run commuting.