Bunchgrasser’s World

My unique filter on life

Transitioning to the lunch-hour run

Posted by bunchgrasser on November 20, 2008

I’ve been finding it difficult to get my miles lately due to the lack of daylight hours. It’s dark in the morning before work and dark in the evening when I get home. Add some coldness, clouds and rain to that darkness and it can suck the motivation to run right from your very soul.

What to do? Well, how about running on your lunch hour? It may still be cold and rainy – but at least it will be daylight. I’ve always been a “before, or after work” runner, and I’ve also found it somewhat challenging to change into running gear, complete my run, shower and then change back into work clothes in a 1 hour time slot. Not to mention that I’d like to eat some lunch during that time as well.

Yesterday, I went for my first “lunch-hour” run of the season and it went very well. I learned that my office complex does have a small locker room with a single shower stall and a few lockers. So, at least I didn’t have to return to the office hot and sweaty. I’ve listed below some tips that helped me stay within my lunch hour time limit.

  1. Pack a duffle bag at home the night before with all the gear that you need, including shoes, clothing, shower stuff, MP3 player, etc.
  2. Eat a small carb-rich snack (yoghurt, banana, Clif bar) at your desk about an hour before you run. This will ensure a high energy level during your run and make it easier to last until you can eat lunch later.
  3. If you are comfortable doing so, replace pre-run stretching with a 5 minute slow jog. I’ve found it warms my muscles effectively and saves 5-10 minutes.
  4. Realize that a shorter-than-normal run can be very satisfying, especially if you do that run more frequently throughout the week. If running your normal distance takes too long, then reduce your distance and speed up the pace a little. It’s all good…
  5. Scope out (in advance) the best running course(s) close to where you work. My office just happens to be right next to the NIKE world headquarters, so I ran the bark chip path around NIKE’s campus. I also will try the streets & sidewalks around the business park on my next run.

The point is – I refuse to let the darkness or weather conditions alter my training plan. As a life-long Oregonian I’ve learned to accept the cold, crappy weather. And aside from moving to Arizona, or spending time on a treadmill indoors (ugh) – I don’t see many other options.


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