Here are five things we think every run commuter should have if you run to and from work on a regular basis. These items will keep your gear dry, allow you to transport things back and forth, help you clean up, dry off and prepare you for your day at the office.
You can always add things to your everyday gear (like lunch containers, for example), but for those new to run commuting, try these out first and add-on once you get the hang of things.
1) Backpack: This is the most essential piece of equipment a run commuter can have. Not only will you need it to carry your clothing, lunch and other personal effects to work everyday, but you can also use it to pick up any additional items on your way to or from work (groceries, library books, etc.) The pack should fit your body type and have a waist strap and, ideally, a chest strap to keep bounce to a minimum. Our favorites include packs from Osprey and REI’s Stoke 9 and Stoke 19.
2) Toiletry/Cleanup Kit: Items can include: Small towel, antiperspirant, body spray/perfume, bar of soap, baby wipes, makeup, shaving gear, etc. Keep them in a bag or store them in your drawer. You’ll want to remember to change out your towel regularly, but everything else should last quite a while before being replaced.
3) Fan: This will depend on what your workplace setup looks like. Do you have your own office or cubicle? A small powerful fan, such as this one from Honeywell, will be your best friend. It works best by placing it near your feet and aiming it up towards your torso. Once you’ve cooled off, you can use it to dry off your wet running clothes, too. You can find a decent one at drugstores, big box stores or online for less than $30.
4) Multiple Sets of Running Clothes: When you start run commuting on a regular basis, you’re not going to want to do laundry every night. Find a good pair of running shorts and buy a few pair at a time if you can. If you can’t, buy a pair every paycheck or two until you have four or five. Do the same with shirts and soon you can stretch out your laundry days to once a week. Running Warehouse usually has great sales on running shorts and shirts, as well as cold weather gear. Also, you can get running shirts from Jiffy Shirts for less than $8.00 each.
5) Waterproof Bag or Raincover: You will get wet. Just plan on it now. However, your cell phone, blackberry, iPod and work clothes should not get wet. As we’ve talked about before, the Ikea bag is probably the cheapest piece of waterproofing equipment you can find. But, if you want to keep everything dry – including your pack – a raincover is the way to go. Check to see if the company that made your pack has one first or just get a universal cover based on how many cc’s your bag holds. Some covers that can be found online include Osprey, Mountainsmith and STM bags.