Running to and from work

Hi, I don’t post very often, was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on running to and from work. 

I live in Leicester and commute to Birmingham for work on the train.  I have to fit my running in when I can which I’m sure is the case for a lot of people.  I run to and from the station in Leicester and in Birmingham and so my running day looks like this;

~5:30am – 3 miles Home to Leicester station

~7:20am – 2 miles Birmingham New Street to the office

~4:40pm – 2 miles Office to Birmingham New Street

~6:00pm – 3 miles Leicester Station to home.  

Does anyone have any thoughts on the above, particularly on the pros and cons of doing 4 pretty short runs throughout the day? 

I try and keep in mind a decent tempo to all the runs, and have been trying to incorporate some fartlek running to the longer runs, but in terms of the quality of the run i.e. how good I feel whilst doing it, the 3 milers are pretty grim as I’ve either just got up or am knackered at the end of the day.  So the 1st and last run end up being pretty attritional. 

I don’t do this every day, between 1 and 3 times a week.  On other days I bike to the station. 

 Any thoughts would be appreciated.


  • Without some heavy googling I can't think offhand of a source that helps you integrate commute-running with a training plan for a specific goal. But if you have one, I'd be a bit concerned that you might not have sufficient energy for any "quality" sessions in the weektime, such as an interval session or a threshold session.This may not matter too much if you are not too bothered about maximising your performance in a specific event. It's certainly much better to get approaching two hours' exercise a day than not!

  • Tom, if you use your commute day runs as recovery/easy pace runs, and then do your quality on other days it could work fine.

    For a quality run you'd be wanting a 2-3mile warm up anyway, so those 2-3mile runs you do aren't the best time to run hard. That's why you'll find them grim, so slow those ones down.


  • Is there a way you could get to the first station without running and then just get off some stops earlier and get a quality longer run in from station to office? then grab the train home without running on way home? (assuming like me you prefer to run in the morning)...

  • Hi, thanks to all 3 for your responses.  Both the Steve(ie)s make good points about the decent quality runs, I think, particularly in the weeks where I run 2 to 3 times to the station, I neglect any real quality interval or tempo sessions, probably because I'm still congratulating myself on getting up at 5:30am and running! 

    Sophie - I agree with you about looking for a way to cut out some of the runs and extending one to make it a better session.  Generally I'm a bit hopeless in the morning though, I've been thinking about extending the last run of the day by getting off the train one stop earlier.  This would change the last run to a decent 7 miler. 

    My training is all a bit of a mish-mash of swimming, running, football training and football matches at the moment, and I do need to get it tidied up a bit before a big event in September, and your comments have got me thinking more about this as well now, so thanks again. 

  • Tom, you ARE a hero for getting out so early on a weekday.

    At the moment what you do probably fits the purpose, as you're enjoying a range of sports.

    If you got serious about the running, you'd need to ditch the footy, and properly work out a schedule, but if you're happy as you are, no need to make sucha  radical overhaul.

  • Curly45Curly45 ✭✭✭

    I started in a similar vein Tom used to make up about 25 miles a week of:

    1.5 miles, train, 2.5 miles, work, 2.5 miles, train, 1.5 miles

    On some days I would walk the first and last bits to make it easier. Just keep the pace down and enjoy it, if you want to get into running more the easiest plan would be to try a longer run on the Sunday, but keep the pace really slow.

    Otherwise as long as you are finding it okay in terms of aches and pains I cant see any problem in itself - as Stevie says if you want to take running more seriously you might have to think about extending some of the runs, but nothing harmful about that sort of running in itself, its not brilliant for endurance training. 8 miles in one go is better for that than 8 miles split over 4 runs, but its not bad for you.

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