Run Commute and Training

Everything about the training process, including programs, experiences, etc.

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scrumhalfgirl
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Run Commute and Training

Postby scrumhalfgirl » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:25 pm

Picking the wise RM brains! When I go back to work in a couple of weeks, I'm planning to commute by Jesse-power to work. My office is as close as 3.5km - nicest route is about 4.2km each way. Being so close now, I don't want the expense or hassle of driving downtown, so I have walking, running, biking and busing as options. I'm also stressed about fitting in my daily running with two kids and a husband who travels, so I'm thinking run-commuting will help me out here, because I won't have to try and get up before the kids to fit it in or work around DH's schedule.

The question is, how to combine the run-commute with training for a race. My next goal is the Army half in September. If I run to and from work everyday, that's about 8 km / day, which is decent half marathon mileage, but it's all split up and it's all base miles. I'll do a longer run on the weekends (likely incorporating a bit of race pace work some weeks), but what about quality work like tempo and intervals? I plan to run with a backpack, which makes those tricky, and the short distance of the run makes it hard to warm-up and then add some quality. Any thoughts? How much training effect will I be losing by always doing shorter runs, plus the long one?

I could probably swing 1-2 non-commute workouts during the week in addition to the long run, but then not sure how to work around the commute those days.

Thanks!
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purdy65
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Re: Run Commute and Training

Postby purdy65 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:34 pm

That's one problem with my run commute. Although I really enjoy it, it really can't have much quality to it. I save my mid-week medium long run for the commute and keep it easy. The quality stuff, unfortunately I save for the treadmill or other mornings I'm not commuting (I only commute one morning per week)

If you are looking to do some harder/quicker stuff during the week while being unencumbered, could you do a lunchtime run?

I'm still constantly amazed how you moms fit it all in!

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Jwolf
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Re: Run Commute and Training

Postby Jwolf » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:39 pm

Would you be doing it every day? That is 40K/week-- how much mileage are you normally doing midweek?

I think it will take some adapting, but you can definitely get in the same total training effect as long as you are fitting in the same amount of total mileage and quality work. If you manage at least one, maybe 2 longer midweek runs that would be ideal. These can maybe be done before you leave, with the 3.5K to work being your "cool down" (or the other way around in the afternoon). The short runs with the backpack can be great for fartlek-type speed work.
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Re: Run Commute and Training

Postby turd ferguson » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:16 pm

A lot depends on what your run commute looks like stop-and-go wise.

Mine is about 40% short blocks with a stoplight every block, and then 60% long blocks with a stop roughly every mile.

The short blocks are useless for training. I've tried to do stoplight sprints but it just doesn't seem to work.

The long blocks aren't bad for tempo or whatever speedwork I can fit in.

But either way, with your speed, you're talking about a roughly 15 minute run. I don't imagine you have too many 15 minute runs in your calendar right now. Its better than not running but I don't know how much additional benefit you'll get.
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carm
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Re: Run Commute and Training

Postby carm » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:30 pm

I think that we've discussed this topic before in passing or maybe I read it in the hot mommas thread. IIRC you said that you can't easily squeeze in longer lunch-hour runs with your job? That would be my go-to for a longer tempo run. That's what I plan on doing on Tuesdays after my K2J 1/2m plan starts in July. I'll make up the time throughout the week as needed. This option would be tricky if your DH is out of town and you have to do daycare pick-up though. Can you stretch out your commute at all so you can do longer stretches of running?

As for the backpack, can you bring your clothes/toiletries in the day before and just carry a work pass and house key in a SPI belt during your commute?
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La
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Re: Run Commute and Training

Postby La » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:42 pm

carm wrote:As for the backpack, can you bring your clothes/toiletries in the day before and just carry a work pass and house key in a SPI belt during your commute?

That's what I do, though I usually reserve that for my run home on a mid-week run, and only take with me what I'll need for the next 15 hours until I'm back in the office again (I would usually not run in the next day, but take transit).

Run commuting is a lot easier (from a logistics perspective) during warmer months than colder ones.
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Re: Run Commute and Training

Postby Jwolf » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:45 pm

carm wrote:I think that we've discussed this topic before in passing or maybe I read it in the hot mommas thread. IIRC you said that you can't easily squeeze in longer lunch-hour runs with your job? That would be my go-to for a longer tempo run. That's what I plan on doing on Tuesdays after my K2J 1/2m plan starts in July. I'll make up the time throughout the week as needed. This option would be tricky if your DH is out of town and you have to do daycare pick-up though. Can you stretch out your commute at all so you can do longer stretches of running?

As for the backpack, can you bring your clothes/toiletries in the day before and just carry a work pass and house key in a SPI belt during your commute?


This is a good idea if you don't plan on doing it every day (which is what I thought you meant).

Some people will pick one or two non-run-commute days where they take in clothes for the rest of the week. I used to do this with bike commuting, although I was never really doing it more than 2-3 times/week.

Could you bike some of the days and then take in clothes for run days?
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Re: Run Commute and Training

Postby scrumhalfgirl » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:29 pm

Thanks for the feedback everyone!

Lunch time running is not an option with my job unfortunately. There are probably occasional days where I can sneak out, but it totally can't be predicted or counted on.

From a "getting to and from work" point of view - running every day would be ideal. I'm not concerned about 40 km per week in terms of total mid-week volume (during the bulk of my marathon training, my Monday-Friday runs were in the 9-16 km, four of those days), but I do wonder about the impact of always running twice.

In terms of the "terrain" - the run is 1 km on residential streets with 1 traffic light, 2 km on a bike path (with 1 traffic light) and then about 1 km through downtown with multiple lights. A bit of start and stop but not terrible. Probably will take about 25 minutes or so factoring in the lights.

Biking is an option in the warmer months (mid-April through mid-October maybe? I"m not about to become a winter cyclist!). One option I've considered which sounds a bit like what some of you do would be to bike in on Mondays and Fridays, bringing in and taking home clothes and food for the week (will need to be super organized - not sure if can pull off five days of that!).

Jwolf - I've thought about your suggestion of doing a quality run then cooling down on my way to work, but unfortunately, under my current morning logistics plan, I need to drop one or both kids off before I head to work - which doesn't leave much time for extra running if I want to arrive at work at a reasonable time. But I could maybe swing one day per week where I arrive late, or where DH takes both kids in and I run.

What might be the best scenario is on the biking days, get up early and do a solo quality run, then do an easy bike ride. And then Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday are just easy run commutes.

If I could only get in one longer quality run per week plus the commutes and long runs, would that be enough?

Thanks for indulging my "thinking out loud" here!
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May - Sporting Life Ottawa 10K
May - Ottawa Half Marathon

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Re: Run Commute and Training

Postby ultraslacker » Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:15 pm

could you do the quality run as part of the "home" piece once or twice a week (instead of the morning)? Use the run home as the warm-up, drop off your backpack, do some speed work and end at home...? or do you need to be available at home right away after work?
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carm
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Re: Run Commute and Training

Postby carm » Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:41 am

For a daily commute (I totally missed that!), as jwolf said, I would try to bike certain days to truck in the clothing and food and then carry a small pack the rest of the days. If biking won't work out with daycare drop off, maybe make a separate trip to drop off items after business hours/kiddy bed-time? With daycare drop-off in a different neighbourhood (away from work), the logistics will be tricky so the first few weeks will be trial and error with respect to workouts etc, I imagine.
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Re: Run Commute and Training

Postby carm » Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:52 am

What about running the kids into daycare, leaving the Chariot there and then running into work (tempo/speed, whatever you want) after drop-off to get a longer run in once or twice a week? You could run home/take bus after work and then drive to pick up the kids? This would probably involve an earlier wake-up time to get into work at a reasonable hour but then you'd get in a longer continuous run.
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Re: Run Commute and Training

Postby scrumhalfgirl » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:43 am

Carm - you are good! Loving all the options!

Biking stuff into work in the evenings/weekends might work - it's so close that it's a really quick ride. Will need to see what kind of access I have though, because the security in our building is pretty high. I know I have after hours, but can't remember if I have weekend access.

Running the kids to daycare might actually work - there's an unfortunate very large hill between our house and daycare - I did it once with two kids and survived, so it's doable. The added complexity is that the kids are actually going to two different spots. If DH is around and can take C where she needs to go, I could do it pretty easily as long as I was organized to leave early enough, and didn't mind getting to work a little bit later (we can't drop off until 8). I could even stop at home to drop off the stroller making it a 10 km run.

I did map out dropping off both kids at their two different sites this summer and then running to work and it's about 12-14 km (two camps for C), but I think the amount of time required would be a bit crazy. But good to have in my back pocket!

I'm totally open to just getting up at the crack of dawn to go run before - the kids just wake up so early too!
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Re: Run Commute and Training

Postby Jwolf » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:53 am

I just have to say I admire you for trying to make this work with two little kids that need your and Dh's attention. I started run or bike commuting only when my kids were much older and those days were behind me. My work was 8k away at the time, but to me it was still easier to drive to work and plan my running elsewhere.
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Re: Run Commute and Training

Postby carm » Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:24 am

You'll get into a new groove once you return to work. I have no doubt that you'll fit it all in. :)
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Re: Run Commute and Training

Postby scrumhalfgirl » Sat Jun 27, 2015 1:13 pm

Reporting in after my first week! Still trying to figure out what is going to work for me, but thought I would check in.

Monday - got up early before the rest of the family and did 8.7 km with 3 x 1 mile intervals. Biked to and from the office (about 15 minutes of ride time each way). Brought in 5 x lunches and outfits.
Tuesday - Ran to and from work, and showered when I got there. About 9 km total.
Wednesday - 7 km with the stroller because baby got up early - added some stroller-tempo sections. Biked to and from work
Thursday - Rest day from running. Biked to and from work.
Friday - Ran to and from work. Slightly shorter route - 8.5km total

I really really enjoyed the bike ride. It's quick and easy with the canal paths and bike lane downtown. I showered at home so when I got there just needed to change in the bathroom and brush my hair. Felt like I got to and from work quickly.

The run commutes were just ok. Felt like I was going slowly (even though I wasn't!) so was stressed about getting to work/home quickly. I don't love running in the afternoon either, just because of having a day's worth of food in my tummy! Did appreciate sleeping in until 6:30 those mornings though (the children miraculously slept - they're so worn out!). That being said, it's a nice way to get in some running when I might not otherwise be able to.

All in all, happy with the first week and we'll see how things continue to evolve. In an ideal world, I'd run early and bike each day, but with the kids waking schedules being a bit all over the map, that puts the burden of the morning routine on DH which isn't fair, since he does the after daycare/dinner prep insanity. Making it work!
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Re: Run Commute and Training

Postby carm » Sat Jun 27, 2015 4:09 pm

Great job scrummy, especially on packing all those lunches and outfits! You're so organized!

I'm going to try and start a daycare bike commute (leave car at daycare - ride to work and then do pick-up in the p.m.) once or twice a week starting now. It's a great way to get some fresh air and clear the head before a day in the office. The problem with this is that I will miss baby wake-up time in the morning which sucks as I usually can get LO to the breakfast table before I dash for a 7 a.m. start-time.
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Re: Run Commute and Training

Postby scrumhalfgirl » Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:52 am

carm wrote:Great job scrummy, especially on packing all those lunches and outfits! You're so organized!

I'm going to try and start a daycare bike commute (leave car at daycare - ride to work and then do pick-up in the p.m.) once or twice a week starting now. It's a great way to get some fresh air and clear the head before a day in the office. The problem with this is that I will miss baby wake-up time in the morning which sucks as I usually can get LO to the breakfast table before I dash for a 7 a.m. start-time.


oh nice! I had thought about that in the past, but there wasn't a spot I could leave my car for the day unfortunately. Right now, I'm dropping the car at home, but at least it's on the way back to work.
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Re: Run Commute and Training

Postby QuickChick » Tue Jul 07, 2015 8:57 pm

Yeah, great job organizing the lunches etc for sure. Wow! You will settle into a routine soon enough. If I were you, I'd make the run to work longer a couple of days a week and do whatever workout I was going to do then. That way your run home can be just to stretch your legs. It kind of sounds like you did that. Best of luck- I bet you will do even better than you think in the fall. I found last year that I was getting in a lot of good workouts mostly because I had planned for them.


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