Ultra runner commuting

Using running to commute to work is often an essential part of an ultra runners training plan, because often it is the only way that they can fit the mileage in around their job. 

It is therefore no bad thing to have a thread in which to discuss it. 

I work in a running shop which requires me to be on my feet.  I am able to use this to my advantage, as standing for five hours in the middle of a long training run is a very good way to replicate the "tired legs feel" that you get towards the end of an ultra.  If I run 7 miles to work, work my shift, then run 20 miles home, it is much harder than running 27 miles in one go.  If I do the latter the next day it feels like light relief. 

A few comments about kit.

running to work with your work cloves in your running pack is a very good way to get accustomed to it.  Finding a jacket that is light enough to fit into an 18 litre running pack, but still warm enough for winter is a challenge.  The Montane Prism jacket is the best that I have found so far. 

Please share your thoughts. 


  • I work 24 miles from home so a running commute is tricky especially as I start at 8am. I can get the train from halfway back to home (Lincoln) but it doesn't run early enough to help me get here.

    Just before Christmas, I ran 14 miles after work to the train station, 15min train to Lincoln, 2 miles home, then ran to work in the morning, leaving at 04:00. Good training but not really sustainable.

  • I vary between the full 11 miles trip- usually do that one evening, and back in the next day,- 22 miles over 2 days. or a "park and run" approach- leaving car at sports centre in morning, running 6 miles to work, running back to car in evening- so 12 miles in one day.

    Either of these count as midweek medium-long runs, so I can do longer stuff at the weekend.

    Main problem is remembering to have enough work clothes at work, and gettin time to eat/ drink enough at about 4pm that I'm ready to run at about 6-7pm, when I finish.

  • I do a mixture of the above.  During the winter, I either park about 10 km or 15km from work (Lincoln) and run there and back.  In the summer, I run home in the evening - 21 miles - then cycle in the next day.  I have to wear a suit to work, so I have to be organised and plan days ahead.  Fortunately we have a shower at the office.  At my previous job I had to use a washhand basin and lots of deoderant.

     Rich - do you run for a Lincoln club?  I only know of one other ultra runner in Lincoln so it will be nice to meet you at the Dukeries (I've already entered).


  • 90-95% of my running is around my commute

    I live in Teddington and work in the City. I can work this as follows

     Teddington - Putney Bridge Station - 9.7 miles

    Teddington - Sloane Square Station - 12 miles

    Teddington - City - 15.5 miles

     In the evenings I run back to Waterloo - 2 miles

    Once a week I get the tube back to Putney Bridge and run home from there

    At the moment I run in 4 days a week, with Wednesday in the middle being a bike commute. At least 3 of the runs will be the full way in.

    All runs are with a rucksac, all suits are at work . We have a very good set of showers with towels provided This means that apart from the odd weekend speed session I don't need to do any weekend training.

    Result is a very happy family

  • Colm - no I dont run for a club - yes, may well see you at The Dukeries image
  • Always thought the run in was free exercise, and with this weather its so much nicer than biking.

     I've got 100k in May as my first (well, you have to don't you, Mr Caballo Blanco), BUT work is 'only' 6.5 miles away. Blessed with a shower and hanging space, though it does take me time to cool down before I can get dressed. (No, not sitting naked in the office...)

    Anyone else discovered they appear to get an invisibility cloak when running through the city?

    (No madam, I'm not the obstacle...that would be you).

    Having re-read the posts above, maybe I should get a train home to Richmond...then run home to where I really live, Cricklewood. That't give me the miles n'est-ce pas.

    By the way...free towels at work...are you kidding???

  • I work from home a lot, and when I do go into London, have to take laptop and lots of papers and stuff and travel between several locations. So I can't use a commute for running, although I do take the folding bike in and use that for all the transport once I reach Charing Cross on the train, the times I go in. OTOH, I -can- take a longer lunch break and run, then work later into the evening. I also have the option of running to & from my running club if I want to extend those runs - and I usually cycle to & from the club, so I warm up/cross train before and after the runs anyway.
  • thats free towels and footmats

    Head of Facilities is a keen cyclistimage

  • I try to run in/back a couple of times a week (cycle the rest of the time) but the showers at work are totally naff image
    I run with the same rucksack I race with, only without the bladder/bottles.
    I keep shower stuff/towels and a collection of shoes at work and carry the clothes I need with me.
  • Im blessed with good showers at work and a big locker to keep lots of clothes, towels, spare shoes etc...  My direct commute is only 4.5 miles so I have concocted a variety of longer routes, usually 12 miles in the morning (get up at 5.30am and get there for 7.30 approx, enough time to shower and eat breakfast and still be impressively early) and then either a just a speedy 4.5 mile home or a recovery style run of 8 or so miles.  20 miles a day, easy peasy.  Similarly to veggieboy I find that its a great way to avoid having to take large chunks out of my weekend and i save a shedload not paying TFL.  This training schedule has allowed me to do fairly well in marathons and ultras in the past year, im convinced double-days are the way forward!

  • As I am currently "between positions" this thread has helped me add a couple of criteria to my job search:

    12 mile commute (seems to be about ideal)
    Great showers
    Locker and hanging space

    and of course ... those free towels!
  • haha!  I can only assume you are looking in the private sector Alistair!  I arrived in work after my commute this mornign to find our hot water is broken - a freezing cold shower was not appreciated!  (although better than sitting sweaty and smelly all day....)
  • Please let's not confuse private sector with investment banks & 'consultants'.

    The shop you buy your running gear from is the private sector, so is the guy you buy your newspaper from, your window cleaner, osteopath and the folk who run the race events you participate in.

    Towels and foot mats...this gets better!

    (What's a foot mat??)


  • merely pointing out it wasnt the public sector!  Apparently the hot water might be back tomorrow....
  • we also have lockers and heated towel rails for drying wet clothes on
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