“I’m so excited about this new campaign by ASICS that involves running to work, This hits very close to home for me as I’ve had to run to work many times for different reasons. I just simply thought: ‘Well it’s only 9km to the Gautrain station and I can carry everything on my back? And I have to run for training anyway…’.”
That’s how Jani’s commuting journey started about two years go and she now runs in, on and off. “I love it, I love my city, my country and its people. You see a completely different side of the country and its people when you run to work. You see people walking, talking, gathering at open fires, eating ‘Mangwengwa’ and going about their daily life and the struggle to get to work on time with taxis, busses and trains.”
For Jani it is exactly the juxtaposition between the hustle to work and the freedom of running that makes her commute so exciting. “While a lot of people are hustling and bustling though the traffic, getting aggravated and annoyed – running to work has given me a sense of freedom to break away from all the drama, to just do what I love and start my day the right way for me.”
Here is how she does it:
1. What to run with
I advise that you run with comfortable running clothing, I usually wear a T-shirt and not a vest as it’s early in the morning and it can be slightly chilly. Alternatively I run with a longsleeve, lightweight top. I always run with long tights. Also in bright colours, depending on the time of the morning (you very well might be running while it is still dark). In saying that ,I run with a headlamp and lights on my ankles to improve visibility – not only for me but also so others see me coming. In my backpack I always have a lightweight rain jacket and a lightweight thermal. When I get on the train after my run I cool down quite quickly and it can become freezing.
2. Kitchen prep
Be sure to pack all your lunch and breakfast the night before, and make sure it is in a liquid-tight container – unless you want a surprise over all you work clothing. Alternatively pack your food for the amount of days you’re planning on running in to work and leave it at work in the fridge if you have one.
Make sure you have a nice comfortable backpack. If your backpack can tie around your body even better – that will help reduce movement and chafing. I LOVE my pack – I literally take it everywhere – it has a shoe compartment at the bottom that helps separate my shoes from my clean clothing and so on.
I usually pack lightweight work clothes – one item, like a dress or a long top and tights – don’t run with jeans on you back, unless you don’t mind carrying heavy. Alternatively pack your clothes for the amount of days you’re planning on running in to work and leave it at work under your desk. Then you don’t have to actually carry anything. I also pack an extra set of running clothes for the afternoon run, Short tights and a vest as it might become hot on my run home.
5. Shower time
The ideal is obviously that your office has shower facilities – our office and increasingly more places of work has – so I’m very lucky. Otherwise you can pack some wet wipes for a ‘pocket shower’. I leave shower gel and a small towel at work. If you use make up you can use some at work as well.
Then, here is what NOT, to do:
- Don’t run with jewellery or any visible valuables; Some days I don’t even take my wedding ring with me to work, or my wallet – I literally have my Gautrain card with me and one bank card in case I need it.
- Don’t run the same route; I have a few different route options that I run. I rarely ever run down the same street. I change it up and try hard to not create a routine that can be spotted just in case, I love my country but I’m not naïve.
- Don’t over pack – be honest about what you really need. Don’t add unnecessary weight on you back you will regret it.
I definitely recommend running to work, it’s such a liberation from the Traffic and I get to do what I love and start my day right. Join us in the #RTWA – Run to work April Campaign with ASICS and improve your fitness, speed and increase your distances.
Get moving this month and take part in Run to Work April.
Head over to our Instagram account @asics_za where we’ll be setting a running theme, giving out tips and tricks. Ask our FrontRunner team questions to help you improve and set yourself daily goals.
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