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Run-muting: Running to Work

9 Jan , 2015,
Heidi Kumm
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Well, I guess I should probably start running on a more regular basis, maybe even start officially training. For me this is a special sort of world, a world where I use the term “training” very loosely. Over the years I’ve learned that I am not a very disciplined runner. While I do like keeping tabs on my miles and workouts I do not like having a regimented training plans that required I run a tempo run at X:XX pace on this day followed by an easy run at this HR on that day or really any plan that says more than “get your butt outside and run”. That is exactly why my Arizona 200M training plan is so vague.

All of that said – no matter how I define it or how randomly I choose to do my runs I still need to run. As a pretty average employed adult I spend 8+ hours a day working, for me that involves hanging out in a cube staring at a computer screen. It’s not glamorous, it’s not that much fun and it definitely limits the time I can run. Most weekdays I have the option of running before 7:30am or after 5:30pm…both times basically translate to dark-o’clock during the winter months.

My most recent solution? Running to/from work. This cuts out the time I’d usually spend driving to work so I actually get to run when there is sunlight gracing the bike trails I follow to/from work. This whole “running to work” thing really isn’t that bad, it’s actually really nice!

Of course, there are some pros and cons to running to/from work. Right now, in my life, the pros are outweighing the cons but I’m sure that will change as the weather warms up, but that’s okay because that’ll tie in perfectly longer hours of daylight!

Why Run-muting Is Awesome

    • I get to watch the sunrise [and moonset!] as I mentally prep myself for another day in the office
    • The run home is therapeutic – I can use that time to ditch work thoughts before I get home!
    • I’m required to cover at least 4.5 miles if I want to get back home [even more if I run errands on my lunch or way home]
    • People at work think I’m badass – I’m not going to lie and pretend that isn’t kind of awesome

Why Run-muting Can Suck

    • Colorado weather – it can be awesome in the AM but crappy in the PM so I have to pack/prepare for anything
    • It requires planning, like picking clothes I can toss in a pack, pre-planning my lunch, getting up early enough, etc
    • Even if my day sucked and I want to just flop on the couch I have am not allowed to skip miles, if I want to get to said couch
    • Running errands on lunch/after work isn’t exactly easy, but I have run on my lunches to do errands

Why Run-muting Works For Me

    • I work in a laid back office, casual clothing is acceptable most days so it’s pretty easy to dress myself
    • I work with a team of guys, no one cares if my hair gets a weird kink or if I’m not wearing perfect make-up
    • It’s less than 3 miles between work/home and two co-workers live near me if I got desperate for a ride home
    • There is a fridge at work where I can stash food rather than pack along a lunch or run to lunch
    • With colder weather I dress light enough that I don’t have the chance to get sweaty and gross, this will change when summer arrives
    • My UD Wink pack is just the right size to hold my Windows Surface tablet, clothes, snacks and other essentials

Tips for Successful Run-muting

    • Only run on days when “business casual” or below are acceptable attire, it makes packing clothes + changing so much easier
    • Stash shoes/sweaters/hygiene essentials [baby wipes, deodorant, basic makeup] at your desk so you don’t have to tote them around
    • Bail out if it’s rainy – a potentially wimpy excuse, unless you’re stuck at work soaking wet
    • Fill up your snack drawer BEFORE running to work and have hot food options available [to warm up after cold AM runs]
    • Even if you’re warm when you get to work make coffee or hot chocolate, the post-run chills will kick in fast

A heavy load day of run-muting! I have to carry my laptop home on Tuesdays, then back on Thursdays for #WyomingWednesday and I hadn’t gotten smart enough to stash essentials like baby wipes, shoes and deodorant at my desk yet! I eventually learned!

I have been running to work for the past few weeks and it’s been pretty successful. The mornings have been interesting because the path is usually covered in a smooth sheet of ice and I am bummed buildings block my view of the rising sun but the moon set is pretty darn awesome! The run home after work has been kind of awesome – the sunset is usually stunning and it’s a nice way to shut down my brain. Plus, I’ve actually had some really productive bouts of literally running errands – there is a shopping center a mile from work and a grocery store less than a mile from home. Both are easy enough to run to, grab a few items and run/walk back.


This isn’t to say I haven’t had “crap, I wish I had my car” moments or “ugh, shouldn’t have left that a home” days but if you get a chance to run to work – give it a try! Even if your co-workers truly do not care about your crazy running ways it is pretty empowering to say you ran a two-a-day and self-propelled your way to work. It’s a little intimidating at first but give it a go on low pressure workdays, figure out your routine and then run with it, literally!


  1. Kier January 9, 2015 at 9:08 am Reply

    I have run home from work a few times this year. A total of 7.5 miles one way, so running to and from isn’t realistic. It is such a great way to unwind from the day and I look forward to doing this more in the spring when it isn’t pitch black at 5:00 (running in the country in the dark = not a good idea).

    • Heidi Nicole January 12, 2015 at 4:07 pm Reply

      Yea, country running in the dark is not the best idea. And it really is an awesome way to just let work go…before it gets a chance to affect your true time off.

  2. Christoph January 9, 2015 at 10:38 am Reply

    Thanks for posting this. I am planning on running to and from work twice a week and it is a 9 mile run each way. I am planning on storing clothes/hygiene essentials/shoes at work when I drive in on the day before and take then home the day after. There is a small gym in the building where I work, so that helps for sure. Have my eyes set out on the Ultimate Direction WASP pack at this point, but are still doing some research.

    • Heidi Nicole January 12, 2015 at 4:26 pm Reply

      If you can plan out having the basic essentials at work it works great to get miles in! And with a gym you might even be able to pull off a shower, which would be great [especially for your coworkers! ;)].

      I do like the Wink — it’s come in VERY handy for running and hiking!

  3. Jena January 9, 2015 at 5:23 pm Reply

    This is so cool! Sometimes I’m slightly envious of people who live in larger cities and don’t have to do all their commuting by car.

    • Heidi Nicole January 12, 2015 at 4:38 pm Reply

      It’s actually a really nice set up…especially after months of having a 4hr commute each day!

  4. roboribbon January 10, 2015 at 12:32 am Reply

    What’s your suggestion for those who have a commute of 20 feet or less?

    • Heidi Nicole January 12, 2015 at 4:42 pm Reply

      Avoid changing out of your PJs…but do brush your teeth! 😉

  5. Karen January 10, 2015 at 2:27 pm Reply

    You are awesome. What a great start and end of the day!

    • Heidi Nicole January 12, 2015 at 4:43 pm Reply

      Thanks! And it really is, especially when the sunset does it’s thing to the extreme!

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